Mayne Football Club

Mayne AFC

Dean Hartley – 150 Games and just as courageous

Dean Hartley suits up this week for his 150th senior game for the Mayne Tigers to be just the 32nd Tiger in the last 98 years to achieve this remarkable feat.

The club published an article in 2018 recognising Dean’s 100 games milestone under the title – “Courage under Fire” which remains just as relevant 50 games on. A review of the story recalls his arrival from Mackay as a ready made experienced defender who slotted perfectly into the club’s ultimate 2014-2016 triple premiership group.

Dean arrived in 2012 playing part of that season but honouring his commitments to his Mackay club to the end of that year. The plan, along with marriage to his beautiful partner Louise that year, was to move to Brisbane for work and to join a footy club full time in 2013. The Mayne Tigers was the very fortunate club that he and Louise settled on. Some thanks also goes to Graham Walters for this dual recruitment.

The build up in 2013 and the following three years were the most successful for the Mayne Tigers in the last four decades and to have someone like Dean in the group was critical to that success. Dean achieved his 100 games for the club in 2018 following this incredibly successful period of which much has been written but the intervening period to now has been challenging for everyone with Covid shortened seasons and some significant injuries to key personnel limiting the Tigers chances despite being consistently competitive. Dean suffered his worst injury in 2021 with his thumb requiring corrective surgery following a pre-season incident which saw him out for most of that season, his only extended time out of the team since joining the club.

Hence it has taken longer than expected to achieve this new milestone.

Club President Russell Ditchburn caught up with Dean this week to discuss how he felt about playing 150 games for the club. In typical fashion, Dean was very humble, but quietly proud to be able to tick over this number. He has been eyeing off this milestone for a while thinking how much it would mean to be a 150 game player for this historic club. He went on to reflect that it has been a wonderful time to be part of the club with the players, club administrators and volunteers all making it easy to want to be part of and to play for as long as he can. He still loves playing so while he feels he can contribute he doesn’t want to miss out on being part of the playing group and all that means.

Dean and Louise have been an integral part of the club for over ten years now, they have three children who all enjoy match day at the Tigers and Dean confirms the club is central to their life.

Dean might be thirty seven this year but he is still the leader of the Tigers defence and performing as well as ever being consistently in the best players.

In addition to his valuable leadership to the playing group, Dean’s contribution to the Tigers has also included annual Sponsorship through his very successful business, Healthia.

The following are just a few excerpts from the 2018 article “Courage under Fire” which we thought to be still very relevant and worthy of reflecting upon again which typify what Dean means to his contemporaries.

Deano's management and on-field chat is perfect, who doesn't love his famous "I'm Coming!", when he is desperately approaching a teammate under siege. Tom O’Malley

Deano is one of the most inspirational and courageous players I have played with. Jack Collings

One of the most courageous team mates I have ever played with, and probably the most consistent. Bill Stephens

Every week he does a job whether it be shutting down the opposition’s best forward (small or tall it doesn't matter), taking 15-20 intercept marks as third man up or simply supporting his teammates any way he can, and he does it all in his own unassuming/underrated way ... AND he is the only guy I know who marks the ball better running backwards than he does moving forwards Caleb Brown

Whether he is spoiling the ball over the boundary line or taking a courageous pack mark Dean always puts his team mates first. Josh Duffy

The Mayne Tigers wish Dean well for his 150th game this Saturday and encourages all their supporters to get along to cheer him on for this wonderful achievement.