Irwin and Quade bring up 200th games for Tigers

Queanbeyan Tiger of 15 years Neil Irwin will play his 200th club game on the weekend in the AFL Canberra first division. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Queanbeyan Tiger of 15 years Neil Irwin will play his 200th club game on the weekend in the AFL Canberra first division. Photo: Joshua Matic.

THE Queanbeyan Tigers Australian Rules Football Club will celebrate two huge milestones this weekend, with club captain Ryan Quade and the long serving Neil Irwin racking up their 200th appearances.

Quade will lead the Tigers North East Australian Football League side out onto Sydney University Oval one at 12pm on Saturday in his game, while Irwin will run onto Alan Ray Oval at 11:30 on Sunday morning to take on Ainslie.

Irwin has been the longest serving of the two milestone players, having joined the club in 1999, but through family ties has been a supporter of the club his whole life.

He played in the reserve grade side from 1999 until 2004, before playing first grade until the end of last season, with time constraints reducing him down from the NEAFL to the AFL Canberra competition this season.

And after 15 years with the club, he will hang the boots up at the end of this season.

He said the highlight of his playing career was the 2012 NEAFL Eastern Conference title.

"Everything went right for us that year. Nothing went wrong," he said.

"We lost the inter-conference grand final against Brisbane by 10 goals the following week but it took nothing from the hearts of the boys. We put everything into getting the Eastern win against the Swans."

Irwin has played mostly in the backline, and said he was privileged to have played with, and under as coach, club great Mark Armstrong.

"It's been great. I wouldn't want to play for any other club," he said.

Besides spending 2005 with the Sydney Swans reserve grade side, Quade is in his 11th year at the Tigers, and still plans on playing on after this season.

He joined the club in 2003, moving straight into first grade after representing the ACT Rams under 18's side, but given his father is club legendary coach Brian Quade, he has been connected to it for a lot longer.

While disappointed he was not able to further his career at the Sydney Swans after 2005, like Irwin, he highlighted 2012 as the best season he has played in.

"I played in grand finals in my first two years at Queanbeyan but we didn't win," he said.

"Then we finally got one in 2012 which is why it was a huge moment. We worked really hard for it."

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