BRETT Heskins may have played his last senior game for Skye United.
And he could join a growing list of departures from the local State 2 South-East club.
Boris Ovcin has retired, Jason Nowakowski is thinking about the lesser demands of the club’s Bayside team as is first-choice keeper Jonathan Crook while Alex Van Heerwarden is assistant coach to Ben Caffrey with Langwarrin’s under-23s.
“That’s a lot of quality and experience right there,” Heskins said.
“If ‘Jono’ goes it will be a huge loss because he is a phenomenal shot-stopper.
“Unfortunately we’ve had to rely on him more than once this year and that’s exactly why he won the players’ player award because he is such an outstanding player.”
Skye’s pre-season kicks off on Tuesday 14 November and the upcoming period could be the greatest test yet for head coach Phil “Slippy” McGuinness who could be forced into a major squad makeover.
Heskins’ decision has been made difficult given that three months ago wife Jess gave birth to their first child, Darcy, so balancing family and football commitments are at the heart of the issue.
“It’s a tough one and to be honest I’m on the fence right now,” Heskins said.
“My body definitely isn’t what it used to be but the competitive edge is still there.
“I think it’s one I’ll have to have a word to ‘Slippy’ about but I don’t think I’d step away entirely though because I’d probably think about Langy’s Bayside team and playing alongside my brother (Daniel).”
Should 30-year-old Heskins move to Lawton Park he would be returning to the only other club he has represented.
His football journey has proven to be a bumpy ride and he gave up a promising senior career when it was in its infancy.
Legendary Langy coach Gus Macleod introduced him to senior football usually off the bench in the 2014 season but the following year he often was in the starting line-up.
What many Langy supporters didn’t know was Heskins faced a personal battle with overpowering self-doubt a battle that eventually forced him away from the sport for almost six years.
“I went overseas for a few months after the 2015 season because I couldn’t handle it anymore,” Heskins said.
“I just didn’t have the love for the game then and I had a lot of trouble playing at senior level.
“I struggled with nerves and I was very unsure of my ability.
“I never envisaged myself as a good player so I had a lot of confidence issues and I guess that was the biggest cause of me not wanting to play.
“When I came back from overseas I decided to take the rest of the season off and start playing the following season but I found that I kind of enjoyed having the freedom to do whatever I wanted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.”
Thoughts of returning to the pitch came and went over ensuing years until he eventually gave in to a persistent McGuinness and joined Skye for the 2021 season.
The pair had a link at Langy when McGuinness coached the reserve squad there.
“Yeah ‘Slippy’ nagged me and nagged me for a while until I finally gave in and I’m glad that I did.
“I was older and a bit more mature and I’m sure that made a difference.
“Having not played for all those years you would have thought that my confidence was pretty low but getting to know the boys at Skye and feeling so comfortable there helped my confidence to grow and it just rose.”
It reached a high point this year when Heskins was joint best and fairest winner alongside veteran midfielder and former Langy teammate Mark O’Connor.
“Unfortunately I missed the presentation because I was at a pre-arranged bucks’ turn that night.
“I was as surprised as anyone at winning the award but it’s nice to know that the coaching staff appreciate what you’ve done.”
Heskins tied with O’Connor despite missing six games of what was a turbulent 22-match season.
“It was a roller coaster ride,” he said.
“There were a number of games when we were on the brink of getting three points only to have them snatched from us.
“We often dominated games but didn’t get a result which was down to bad luck but it was also down to injuries.
“I actually had a good injury run of about 12 consecutive games then my wife gave birth to our son and the game before that I injured my knee and ended up missing the last four or five games of the year.”
Should Heskins decide that the rigours of senior football are no longer for him he’ll leave Skye with fond memories and an array of friendships.
“It’s a pretty special club.
“For all the time I’ve been there there’s been no dramas and everything seems to run smoothly.
“It’s a very family-oriented club and people are just happy to see you.
“It’s a great club to be part of and you don’t have people, especially parents, digging in their heels and having a go at the coaches or the committee.
“It’s a very pleasant environment and I enjoy being part of it.”
In State 5 there has been no movement on the coaching front at Mount Martha after first-year senior coach Mark Larner vacated the role to successfully apply for the Somerville Eagles’ gig.
It’s understood that former senior coach Chris Sanderson who was Larner’s team manager last season is unlikely to go for the position again.
Former Mount Martha defender Adam Steele who switched to Somerville Eagles for the 2021 pandemic-plagued season and coached the Eagles last season has been touted as a likely candidate.
Meanwhile former Langwarrin head coach Scott Miller has seen a dramatic change in his football fortunes recently.
On Thursday 26 October NPL club Altona Magic named Miller as its new head coach with a social media announcement lauding his arrival.
That announcement has since been withdrawn – yet remained on Football Victoria’s website as we went to press – as the Macedonian-backed outfit posted an update six days later saying that Miller had left the post.
The following day it announced that former coach and Socceroo Goran Lozanovski had returned to the helm.
In other news Casey Comets had been planning for life in State 2 South-East after finishing second-bottom in State 1 this year and being relegated.
That was until last week when FV posted an updated State 1 South-East ladder showing Richmond in second bottom spot and Comets elevated to third bottom.
The broad football world was abuzz at the development yet FV’s competitions department made no official announcement nor was it responding to the many queries from clubs and media alike.
So as we went to press the best we can report is that Richmond may have received a points deduction penalty and Comets may have avoided the drop.