A Geelong local, Arklay made his senior debut 1933. He was a tough and physical player, mostly used on the half back flank and also as a ruck rover. In both 1938 and 1940 he won Geelong's best and fairest and was a premiership player in 1937.
Arklay left the club after the 1941 VFL season which he had spent as captain. In 1944 however he made a comeback, as captain-coach before retiring at the season's end.