No Stopping Heath “Heata” Decker In Game150

Photos courtesy Sharon Jones Photography

Story by Mark Jonas

When you think about who have been some of the greatest Full Backs to grace the sporting field in Australia who have just got better with age and just can’t imaging retiring, who comes to mind to you? For me it is Dustin Fletcher (AFL), Billy Slater (NRL) and then there is our own and the one and only, Heath “Heata” Decker!!

This Saturday, along with good mate Tim Jones playing his 100th, Heath, at the tender age of 35, will take to the mighty Quambee Reserve to play his 150th Senior Game at North Ringwood and with only 3 months to go to his 36th Birthday, this is an amazing effort considering the position he plays along with playing week in, week out on some of the best Full forwards playing local football in Victoria and to be honest, still beating them considering he is up to 10 years their senior and usually much shorter than them.

Before we get to what Heath has achieved at our club, let’s go back (way back) to see how North landed this very talented athlete.

Heath started his Senior football at Warrandyte where he played for 3 years between 2002-2004, but in 2005 he turned his back on Aussie Rules to take up another love of his, American Football or Gridiron to us Aussies. Wanting to get the best out of himself in this sport he knew there was only one thing to do and what was that l hear you ask?…. well he moved to the USA and played in the Arena Football League, which l believe is a couple of steps down from the NFL and played one year with Conquest in 2008 and the Bossier-Shrevepot Battlewings in 2009 (Hope l got close to getting this right mate!)

On his return to Australia, Heath joined the Monash Warriors Gridiron team but as any true athlete does he decided that this punishing game on the body was just not quite enough so he also returned to Aussie Rules at the same time and lucky enough for us Heath, big brother Lincoln and the rest of the massive clan of Deckers joined their cousin Scott “Dooley” Lindsay down at North Ringwood and the rest is history.

Even though Heath played 17 games in his first year at the club (2010), Heath did not make his Senior debut till round 15 against Chirnside Park which we won 17.22.124 to 8.6.54. For the record books Heata kicked 2 goals in 2010 which still stand today as his only 2 goals in 149 games, but to be fair he has been stuck in the 10 metre white box at the opposite end of the ground since he kicked his last goal on the 14/8/2010, but based on the fact we kicked 21.20.146 to Whitehorse Pioneers 4.4.28, Moyley may have given everyone a turn at Full Forward that day!

It soon became evident that Heath had found his calling as an elite Full Back, and after 17 Senior games in 2011 and along with his brother Lincoln becoming a very handy back up ruckman to Tucky we knew we had something special with these two boys and given the fact they both had bodies of Greek Adonises we also knew we had at least two contestants for the Next “Man O Man” night!

After becoming a Premiership player in 2012, there was a massive sigh of relief from all Divi 3 full forwards but how would Heath go in Divi 2 against even better full forwards? Answer to the question, not a problem!. Heath just continued to fine tune his art and just got better leaving a trail of goalless forwards in his wake, no more than one of Heath’s biggest opponent in Divi 2 and leading goal kicker Brendan Weinert. These two boys had some brilliants tussles especially in 2014 when they came across each 4 times including the Second Semi and the Grand Final.

Even though Heath had made a name for himself by now within the EFL, he eventually put the whole club on the world map!

It was the week leading up to our Second Semi against Croydon that Heata had to break the news to Moyley that his Gridiron team had made the Vic Bowl Gridiron Championships (Grand Final) and that it was to be played at 6pm on the Saturday night only one hour after the completion of our Semi against Croydon and the main problem was it was being held in Bendigo and that he most likely would not be able to play the Croydon game as he was going to miss the Championship. As you can imagine this left Moyley with a huge problem.

Enter stage left, Club President Maurie Larsen who came up with a plan with Brett Moyley and Captain Max Melzer and what a plan it was.

Maurie had a good mate who had his own helicopter (but let’s face it, who doesn’t have a mate with a helicopter!)… anyway it just so happened Maurie’s mate was free, his helicopter was free and so was the best full back in the comp to play the semi final.

Kept as a big secret to very few, Heata took to the field at 2.10pm and lined up on Brendan. At ¾ time, the Saints up by 10 goals and Weinert dejected with only 1 goal against his name, Heath ran from the field and into a waiting helicopter just down the road at a near by Primary School with Gridiron bag and Mum in toe. Just as the players took to the field for the last quarter, a blue helicopter flew over the ground with one “Heataaaaa” given a big wave to the sea of red polos below him as by now the word had spread throughout the crowd to what was happening.

40 minutes later, Heath arrived in Bendigo and with only minutes to start time, he got changed on the sideline and took to the field and within minutes of the siren sounding he took a long ball down the side for a “TOUCH DOWN!!” In Heath’s own words “I felt like a Rock Star!”

Within days news of what had happened and papers and radio stations all around Victoria contacting Heath for interviews including the Hearld Sun, 3AW and the ABC, but it didn’t stop there and eventually media outlets in the USA started reporting this incredible story of what a local Melbourne Football Club was prepared to do to make sure one of their stars could play two finals in one day and for the record, Heath won both matches and two weeks later became a two time Premiership Player within 2 weeks.

Even though most people call him “Heata” or “Heataaaaaaa” depending on how much they have had to drink, it wasn’t until media oulets in Australia and America started to report this story, that Heath gave himself his own nick name “PRIME TIME” !!

What makes this story even more unbelievable is that Heath played both these matches and the EFL Grand Final two weeks later with a broken bone in his left arm, which also happens to be his main punching arm! (that’s the ball l mean, not his opponents)

Semi: North Ringwood 17.15.117 def Croydon 7.8.50

Vic Bowl Grad Final: Monash Warrior def the Geelong Buccaneers by 30 points.

Since NRFC have been in Division 1 (2015-present), Heath has just continued his status as one of the most feared full backs in the comp and he just appears to be getting better as he gets older and as it stands at present Heata could easily join a very elite club at North Ringwood and become our newest 200 game player since Matty Castles.

Below is a full wrap up of Heath “Heata” Decker’s achievements in his 149 appearances for the mighty Saints.

Games: 149

Goals: 2

Named in the Best Game day: 29 Times

2010: Senior debut

2012: Division 3 Premiership Player

2013: Awarded NRFC Club Award – The “Wayne Bradshaw” Perpetual Trophey, for Most Determined

2014: Division 2 Premiership Player

2014: Named Full Back in the EFL Division 2 “Team of the Year”

2017: Named Full Back in the “NRFC Team of the Decade 2007-2016”

Pretty sure Heath is also a two time Winner of Payno’s “Man O Man” nights!!

Heath has also been a regular member of the Senior Leadership Group.

Heath, you are a true Champion of our Club and from all your mates at North Ringwood, we wish you all the best for Saturday and that yourself and Tim can be carried from the field with a big win on this big day for you both.

Go Saints!

TIM “TJ” JONES REACHES 100 AND PLENTY MORE STILL TO COME!

 

Photo courtesy of Sharon Jones Photography

Story by Mark Jonas

It seems like Tim Jones has been playing Senior Football for years, but at only 24 years of age he is just entering what by some is considered “his Prime” time for Senior Football and his best is still to come, well if it does we are in for a treat as it has been bloody good to watch so far.On Saturday against local rival East Ringwood, our Saint Champion will play his 100th Game for the mighty Saints and only fitting that he reaches this milestone at Quambee in front of all our Saints members.

Tim first came to our club in 2006 in Under 13’s when he made the move from Croydon. During his time at the juniors he played 75 Games and represented the EFL Reps Team on 3 occasions.

In 2011, Tim made the move to Quambee Reserve in the Colts but we only saw him for 1 Game as he made the TAC Squad for the Eastern Ranges, where he played 13 games, kicked 8 goals and was named in the Best on 4 occasions. Even though he only played 1 game for us, we got to see glimpse of the future as he kicked 4 goals and was named BOG.

As was the case in 2011, we didn’t get see Tim play Colts in 2012 as he represented the Ranges again where he played 15 games as well as being named Vice Captain for the year.

Finally in 2013, Tim was back at Quambee and under Brett Moyle was elevated straight to the Seniors, playing 18 games and named in the best 8 times, not too bad for a teenager in his first year of Senior football.

In 2014, Tim went to another level. His mature approach to game day and off field preparation as well as his toughness and attack on the footy saw him become one of best defenders in Division 2, eventually being named “Best on the Ground” in the Division 2 Grand Final against Croydon.

On Presentation Night a few weeks later, Tim was also awarded one of the Club Awards, taking home the “Peter Purdy” Perpetual Award, which is for a former Saints Junior Player now a regular Senior player under the age of 21. For those of you who like stats, Tim played 18 games, including two finals, kicked 4 goals and was named 8 times in the best for the 2014 season.

Since NRFC has been in Division 1 (2015), Tim’s football has just got better and has put the fear of god into many forwards as they line up against him on a Saturday afternoon. Even though Tim is one of the best backman our club has produced, he has found himself more and more in the mid-field as he has matured as a footballer and on the odd occasion has even found himself in the ruck due to his incredible leap.

To sum Tim up, he can basically play in any position at any time, whether he is taking down some of the best forwards in the game, breaking packs open in the midfield or taking strong grabs and kicking goals from 50 out, he has become the complete footballer and why he was bestowed with the honor of being named in the “North Ringwood Football Club Team of the Decade 2007 – 2016” on the Half Back Flank and why Tim has also been a regular member of the Senior Leadership group.

Hopefully this gives an insight into Tim and as already mentioned earlier there is a lot more to come!

Below is a full wrap up of Tim’s achievements in his 99 games since he made his Senior appearance on the 13/4/2013 against Doncaster East at Quambee Reserve. For the record, we one: 25.16.166 to 5.10.40. Tim kicked 1 goal and was named in the top 3!

Games: 99
Goals: 34
Named in the Best: 49 Times!!
2014: Division 2 Premiership Player and named “Best on the Ground”
2014: Awarded the Peter Purdy Perpetual Trophy
2015: Nominated Division 1 & 2 (Rd 5) Young Gun Award
2017: Represented the EFL Senior Rep Team
2017: Named on the Half Back Flank in the “NRFC Team of the Decade 2007-2016”
2017: Runner Up in the NRFC “Best & Fairest”

Congratulation Tim, you are a true Champion & from all of us at NRFC, all the best for Saturday mate.

Go Saints

Presentation Night

NRFC 2018 Presentation Night will be held on Friday 14th September.
Venue will again be The Grand Hotel Warrandtye (upstairs)
7.30pm – 12.00am
$30 pp – including fingerfood  –  drinks at bar prices

You can expect a new format this year with Seniors, Reserves, Under 19’s, Vets and Netball awards presented.

Book in early to ensure you don’t miss out.

Aaron Fenton (above) last year’s Senior Best & Fairest has had a great season so far. Come along and see if he can go back-to back.

It’s an exciting night for all.

To reserve your spot please email your RSVP to:

Lee Robinson: Lee@hydroflowaus.com.au

Joe Tunstall: joetunstall@gmail.com

Moyle Back In 2019

 

 

 

Club President Lee Robinson welcomes Brett Moyle back for 2019

Great news for the North Ringwood Football Club, with 2 time premiership coach Brett Moyle signing on for the 2019 season.
It’s a fantastic result for the Football Club after a tough second half to the year.
The Saints look forward to climbing back up the ladder in the 2019 season.

It’s particularly great for the Club to have some continuity as we will be part of the inaugural year of “Premier Division” EFL.

GO SAINTS  !!!!!