This weekend the Club acknowledges a significant milestone achieved by one of the Demon’s most decorated players, Matt ‘King’ Carey. In this week’s Premier Division Round 1 match against St George Dragons, Matt will notch up his 250th open-age game at Henson Park on Saturday, 2 April 2022. Season 2022 is Matt’s 19th season of footy with the Demons.

Matthew first played with East Gambier Bulldogs in South Australia in 1995. After transferring to Sydney he played with Westbrook Juniors for three seasons from 1999 and represented North West several times during his junior career. In this short period of time, he kicked 118 goals in club games at Westbrook.

Matt joined Penno in season 2003 and played 2 seasons with the Under 18 team. He was the leading goal kicker in the Under 18 competition in season 2004, kicking 133 goals, in one game he kicked 21 goals, 4 behinds. He was also Under 18 Best & Fairest that year. His first grade debut was in 2004 and after a stint in Reserve Grade in 2005, he has since been a mainstay of the Premier Division team and has played 226 of his 250 games in Premier Division.

The King is arguably the most decorated player at the Demons having won the Phelan Medal, was twice Pennant Hills Footballer of the Year and has also been the Premier Division team’s Best & Fairest. He stands alone as the only player at Penno to have played in four Premier Division flags, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017. He was co-captain in 2015 and 2017.

He has great memories of all his flag successes, however, as to his greatest football moment, it’s hard to go past his match winning goal in the dying minutes of the 2017 Grand Final. In this he achieved every boyhood dream, kicking the winning goal in a Grand Final.

Reliving that moment, in the dying minutes of the final quarter, the scores were level and the final centre clearance went to Penno …

“After an initial fumble, the ball hit the ground but then sat up perfectly for Reggie who was able to kick a low ball deep into Penno’s attacking 50 … ‘Reggie just hacked it forward.

The ball came in low and was deflected by the pack and its forward momentum took it closer to goal and favoured King, who’d dropped out the back and was able to run onto the ball, with his Uni opponent in hot pursuit. He barely had time to take a couple of steps to straighten up and he swung his non-preferred right foot through the line of the ball and hit it sweet. The low drop-punt, from about 20m out, sailed through a vacant goal and Penno were back in front with what would turn out to be the last score of the match.  (27 min)

Carey, Carey … MATTHEW CAREY!’ The ‘see-sawing affair tips in the direction of Pennant Hills.

For King this was one of those fabled “Cometh the Moment, Cometh the Man” scenarios, possibly one of the few goals he’s kicked with his non-preferred right foot and arguably his most important goal in his long and illustrious career. Every kid dreams of the day when he’ll kick the winning goal in a big game and for King this is how he felt about this one. It took him back to his days as a kid, kicking the footy at the park from the impossible angle, calling out his own personal commentary and kicking the winning goal for his favourite club … and being hailed a hero! Whilst he wasn’t the only hero for the Demons that day, King will go down as the man who won the Grand Final off his own boot … with the last, desperate score of the game. What a fantastic memory!

Matthew Carey …. You will not pay for a drink tonight son … you kicked the goal to win the game.

During his football career, Matt has suffered serious injury on a couple of occasions which has sidelined him for extended periods. A shoulder injury in 2010/11 meant that he missed the best part of two seasons and as recently as 2016, he missed half of last season rehabilitating from a ruptured ACL necessitating a knee reconstruction.

Matt is an elegant footballer, with a long-legged gait and a spring in his step. His ability to read the game, sure hands, his raking left foot and his agility are the keys to him being an accomplished footballer and athlete. His preparation is impeccable and it is his drive to excel that makes him such an uncompromising competitor.  He has performed as a leader and role-model as co-captain of the club for seven consecutive seasons, 2011 – 2017.

In acknowledging the catalogue of his footballing achievements, we think Matt’s Career Highlights speak volumes about the huge talent and the enormous success he has enjoyed and achieved on the football field. Off-field, King is universally respected, not only as a footballer, but as a leader, mentor, mate and clubman. He is a quality person who sets the example for all those around, a great bloke with the capacity to lead and to bring people together in pursuit of a shared purpose.  And make no mistake, no-one deserves his success more than King does, given his passion for the code, his perseverance in the shadow of serious injury and his single-minded commitment to be the very best that he can. We salute one of the Club’s very best players and ambassadors, Matt ‘King’ Carey, and wish him every success in today’s milestone match.

Go Penno!

Matt Carey Pennant Hills AFL
Matt Carey Pennant Hills AFL