Heath Scotland – Former Australian Rules Football Player

Heath Scotland, born in 1980 is a former Australian Rules Footballer in AFL and played for Carlton and Collingwood.

heath scotlandHe played 2 VFL (VFL changed to AFL, 16 years back) grand finals for Northern Blues. He has a good physique with a height of 182 cm and weight of 88 kg. He played junior football for the Darley Football Club. Later, he played in the Riddell District Football League. He featured in under 18 National Championship. He played as a mid-fielder or half-back role, and was described as the most skilful player who is capable of kicking with both feet. He was called a good football brain with great durability and reliability.

Playing Career (1998 – 2014)

Heath Scotland was recruited by the Collingwood Football Club in AFL in 1998 AFL draft in its third round selection. He was initially given jersey No. 44, but eventually he shifted to No.29. During the Round 3 of 1999, he played his debut match and played 12 matches. He managed to play 10 games in the year 2000. During the 2001 season, he played only 2 games. His extraordinary performance in the final match with 28 disposals saved his career. Mick Malthouse stated that he matured considerably as a great footballer over the season. Scotland was given the opportunity to play as a midfielder or half-back role.

The year 2002 started with a bang for Scotland, where he became a regular player for the Magpies and played 19 matches. He played the final match for Collingwood against Brisbane, but unfortunately Collingwood lost the game. He played sporadically through 2003 season and gained selection in Round 20 and played all the game for the rest of the season.

Heath Scotland played as a mid fielder or half-back flanker in his 5 seasons at Collingwood. There are several players in the Collingwood Football Club of the same ability and characteristics. Due to which he had to struggle a lot to keep up his position. He felt that his opportunities will be limited under the coach Malthouse in Collingwood. So, he requested to be traded to Cartlon, the rival club in 2003. He was traded to Cartlon in exchange of 3rd round draft pick in the 2003 AFL Draft. He was provided with the same number jersey vacated in Collingwood. Through the entire period in Cartlon, he was given the opportunity as a regular player. He played almost every game in 5 out of 8 seasons he played.

During Round 9 of the 2005 season, Scotland played in the last game ever played at Princes Park, its traditional home ground. In the year 2006, Heath ranked 3rd in Robert Trophy and is considered to have 2nd most disposals of any AFL player. He showed a great change in his performance and improved a lot in the year 2007 and collected 41 disposals in Round 22. He polled a club high 12 Brown Medal votes.

Heath Scotland was amongst the experienced players in Cartlons team and featured the leadership group of club from 2007 to 2010. He played a very reliable and decent game throughout this period. He played his 200th game in the year 2011 and became one of the oldest players on the list of Carlton. Fans of Scotland consider the year 2011 to be the best year till date. He was nominated for All-Australian Team in 40-man squad, but could not come in final selection. In December 2011, he was awarded life membership for Cartlon Football Club. He played very well in the season 2012 and won John Nicholas Medal.

Post Football Career

Heath Scotland was moved from the seniority list of Carlton and redrafted as a rookie. He announced his retirement from AFL in May 2014 due to a degenerative ankle complaint.

Awards And Achievements

  • Collingwood Football Club Reserves/VFL Best and Fairest 1998
  • Carlton Football Club Best and Fairest Winners Joseph Wren Memorial Trophy
  • 8th Best and Fairest award in 2004
  • Most Carlton Votes in the Brownlow Medal in 2004
  • Pre-Season Premiership Player in 2005
  • 7th Best and Fairest in 2005
  • 3rd Best and Fairest in 2006
  • Most Carlton Votes in the Brownlow Medal in 2006
  • Leadership Group in 2007
  • Pre-Season Premiership Player in 2007
  • 2nd Best and Fairest in 2007
  • Most Carlton Votes in the Brownlow Medal in 2007
  • 9th Best and Fairest in 2008
  • Leadership Group in 2009 and 2010
  • 8th Best and Fairest in 2010
  • 4th Best and Fairest in 2011
  • John Nicholls Medal in 2012
  • Best Clubman 2011
  • Life Membership 2011
  • AFL national draft 2014 AFL rookie draft

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