Dean Mahoney celebrates 300 senior games

Ben Martin, Colac Herald – Wednesday 3rd May 2023
Otway Districts officials say no one deserves a day dedicated to themselves more than loyal club champion Dean Mahoney, who will notch up an incredible 300 senior games this weekend.
The humble Demon’s senior career started in the old Heytesbury-Mt Noorat Football League in 2002, featuring in a grand final in his first season for the then-Roos, two years after winning a junior flag.
Mahoney had learned to play against much older opponents, taking up under-17 football at Princetown as an 11-year-old.

Fittingly, he will notch up his 300th senior game against old Heytesbury rival Simpson in this weekend’s Heytesbury Shield showdown under lights.
Otway Districts president Ross Panther said Mahoney deserved a day of celebration, fronting up year after year, training two nights a week despite the Demons falling short of finals each year since 2006.
“We haven’t had too much to celebrate over the years,” he said.
“Dean’s a humble guy and didn’t want too much of a fuss, that’s just the way he is, but we thought this was definitely worthy of a celebration.”
Mahoney played 36 senior games in the Heytesbury league before the league folded in 2002, and Otway Districts and Simpson moved into the Colac district league.
The reliable utility, who now has two children Xavier and Hayden with wife Kylie, has played a further 263 games for Otway since.

Panther said he was uncertain where Mahoney sat in the club’s games records, but expected him to be near the top.
“He had two seasons in the Heytesbury league which included a grand final, and the rest have been in the CDFNL,” he said.
“On our senior games tally, he’d have to be right up there.
“Scratcher (Ross) Edwards played over 400 games but I’m presuming some of them were reserves, and Kane Clissold played 400 but that included juniors.”

Panther, who played more than 100 senior games alongside Mahoney, said he was constantly in awe of Mahoney’s longevity in the game.
“On field, to go through what he’s been through on the field, it would be easy for him to give it away,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure if he’s play past COVID, but the work he puts into his recovery to get himself up each week, it’s a big job.
“He’s not a flashy player, he’s not the sort of player that’s going to go out and kick 10 goals, but he’s so reliable and gets the job done, you know what you’re going to get.
“Even on the weekend he was in our top couple of players.”
Panther said his contribution to the Demons hadn’t just been on field, earning life membership two seasons ago for his years of commitment off field.
“He’s been on the committee since he was 18, so almost 20 years,” he said.
“He hasn’t really gotten into the coaching side of things but his son Xav is in our new under-10s side and has been playing in our Mini Dees games at half time, so I could see him getting into it down the track.”