Cameron Ilett addressing his teammates. Photo: Matt Corby/NEAFL.



NEAFL MVP runner-up Cameron Ilett has made a stunning backflip on last year’s retirement to re-sign with NT Thunder for the 2018 NEAFL season.

One of the competition’s best ever players, the 32-year-old Ilett announced his retirement in July last year, only a matter of weeks before finishing runner-up to Jordan Keras in the NEAFL MVP Award.

NT Thunder will celebrate its tenth anniversary season in 2018, and Ilett is one of only two players alongside Darren Ewing to have played ever year since the club’s inception in 2009.

Ilett said a strong interest in coaching lured him back to the playing field, after making the switch to NTFL club Nightcliff this season where he has been in dominant form.

“I’m excited that my Thunder journey hasn’t ended yet and there’s a lot to like about the plans the club has for 2018, but I am also really looking forward to building on the coaching experience I’ve had with Nightcliff this past NTFL season,” he said.

“I have more confidence in the coaching space than I did 12 months ago and it is going to be a great challenge to further develop that side of my football in a professional environment.”

NT Thunder coach Andrew Hodges said Ilett’s involvement in 2018 would extend beyond the playing field.

“We’ve been in discussions with Cammy for a number of months on how we could keep him involved with our program. We are ecstatic that he has recommitted and decided he’d like to play on,” he said.

“His playing credentials speak for themselves, but along with playing, Cammy will have a pivotal role in mentoring the young Academy team members.”

NT Thunder kicks off its 2018 campaign against defending premier Brisbane at TIO Stadium on April 7.



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