• Jayden J Bartlett

Ben Heaslip - the Boy from the Bays

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

A true local product; Ben Heaslip has been playing football since 2002.

Beginning with AusKick programs at Strathalbyn, before moving to Victor Harbor in 2003 and joining the Encounter Bay Football Club.

From there, he has progressed through the modies, minies and junior colts for the Eagles.

He was then invited out to the South Adelaide Football Club in 2008 to take part in their under 14 program.

Once at South Adelaide, Ben then progressed through the under 15s, under 16s and the under 18s before finally reaching senior level for the Panthers where he made his league debut in round one, 2015.

During this time, the Encounter Bay product has tasted some success; with the more senior level accolades including the under 18 state team in 2014, the SAFC Best 1st Year Player in 2015 and the SAFC Most Improved in 2017.

As a prime example of a player coming through the pathways of a SANFL club, Ben has some advice for the local players who are looking to follow suit;

“Just enjoy the programs, a lot of the players who I went through the ranks with are still at the club and are great mates.”

Since making his league debut; round 10 of the 2019 season has marked his 50th senior game in the blue and white.

As for what has kept him pushing to reach this milestone, Ben has narrowed it down to;

“I just enjoy the competitiveness of the game, but mostly the comradery and relationships made in team sport.”

Other than his interest in real estate, the beach and trying to “find the best coffee spot”, Ben has a few favourite memories from his career so far.

These include;

Representing South Australia in the under 18s, his debut win which occurred against Glenelg on Good Friday, and ironically, his 50th game which was also a victory over Glenelg.

To end on a high note; Ben was kind enough to share what he regards as one of the best on-field sledges he has heard.

Occurring during a trial game back in 2018 and involving a South player who is “renowned for his aggressive behaviour”, the tale is as follows;

“He gave away a 25m penalty and as he was running back next to the umpire, they were sharing a few choice words to which the umpire responded;”

“If you continue arguing, it’ll be another 25m and ill take you to the goal square.”

To which the South player responded;

“Make it 100m and I’ll meet you in the car park.”

“I’m not sure if the umpire heard him correctly, but safe to say the umpire didn’t take another 25m penalty!”

So, with plenty of years of football left under his belt. The local product will continue to be an example of the talent that can come through the ranks of a football club and the talent that can be found in the country.

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