Courtroom paperwork reveal coach accused of raping former Melbourne participant Daniel Hayes was a long-time AFL worker who coached Sydney Swans academy groups
A former elite junior soccer coach has been accused by former AFL participant Daniel Hayes of rape again in 2005 and a writ has been lodged within the Victorian Supreme Courtroom searching for damages.
- Mark Patrick Heaney has denied allegations he raped former AFL participant Daniel Hayes
- Heaney labored at faculties and helped arrange a Swans academy whereas serving because the AFL’s regional supervisor for northern NSW
- In 2014, Heaney was jailed after pleading responsible of 1 rely of utilizing a carriage service to groom an individual below 16 years
Mark Patrick Heaney was a senior AFL worker who performed an important position within the code’s growth into New South Wales and coached Sydney Swans academy groups for 3 years.
Heaney, who was the AFL’s Northern New South Wales regional supervisor between 2009 and 2013, misplaced his job with the league in 2014 when he was convicted and jailed for grooming a 13-year-old junior footballer in 2013.
Warning: This story contains textual content messages together with graphic sexual content material.
Between 2004 and 2008, and on the time of the alleged incident, Heaney was an assistant coach and regional improvement supervisor for the Jap Ranges group within the AFL’s TAC Cup (now the Coates Expertise League) Beneath-18s competitors.
In response to questions from the ABC about Hayes’s allegation within the writ, Heaney mentioned: “I deny that. I had knowledgeable relationship with him as a trainee and participant.”
The courtroom doc alleges that “Because of the abuse [Daniel Hayes] self-medicated with medicine and alcohol. He has made three suicide makes an attempt and been admitted to rehabilitation for alcohol and drug dependence.”
Hayes has additionally made a criticism to Victoria Police over the alleged incident and that is the supply of an ongoing prison investigation.
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A coach who ‘ticked all of the containers’
On his private web site, Mark Heaney describes himself as “Lismore born, Brisbane raised. Reader, runner, kayaker and horse-racing proprietor” and says he now works in “well being — pathology”.
However within the mid-2000s, when he was primarily based in Victoria, Heaney was working his approach into the ranks of elite junior soccer teaching.
It was whereas working as a PE instructor, year-level coordinator and director of sport between 2000 and 2008 at Mount Lilydale Mercy Faculty, within the jap suburbs of Melbourne, that Heaney grew to become concerned within the AFL’s elite Beneath-18 soccer system.
A spokesperson for Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Faculties confirmed to the ABC that Heaney took depart with out pay from Mount Lilydale Mercy Faculty in 2005 to take up a task with AFL Victoria (then Soccer Victoria) and formally resigned from the college in November 2005. Heaney returned to the college in 2007 and served as director of sport till the tip of 2008.
The assertion continued: “No formal complaints have been acquired by the college in relation to Mr Heaney.”
Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Faculties additionally confirmed that Mount Lilydale Mercy Faculty has not been the topic of civil litigation or Nationwide Redress claims associated to Heaney’s tenure.
“Nonetheless,” the assertion continued, “data present [Heaney] was spoken to by the Principal in 2008 about preserving applicable skilled boundaries as regards to pupil communication and interactions.”
In response to questions from the ABC, Heaney mentioned: “I had a gathering nevertheless it was not about something inappropriate.
“It was within the early days of social messaging and some college students I additionally coached externally. The principal mentioned the necessity to preserve professionalism as they have been each college students and gamers on an exterior group I coached.”
Between 2005 and 2008, Heaney was an assistant coach and part-time AFL Victoria regional improvement supervisor on the Jap Ranges, spending 2006 in an identical position on the Murray Bushrangers, primarily based in Wangaratta, earlier than returning to educate Beneath-15s and Beneath-18s on the Ranges in 2007.
Each golf equipment competed within the TAC Cup (now the Coates Expertise League), the premier AFL junior competitors from which the perfect junior gamers are drafted to league golf equipment.
In an announcement supplied to the ABC, an AFL spokesman mentioned: “The AFL takes these issues extraordinarily severely and isn’t conscious of any reviews or complaints of misconduct to the AFL relating to Mark Heaney from 2005.”
Former Jap Ranges gamers who spoke to the ABC mentioned Heaney was a likeable man who “ticked all of the containers” as a task mannequin.
His position with the Ranges concerned loads of out-of-hours work supporting gamers, together with driving them to and from coaching and video games, and making dwelling visits. He was additionally chargeable for administrating the AFL’s AusKick clinics in Melbourne’s jap suburbs.
Former Ranges head coach John Lamont advised the ABC he’d been unaware of the costs Heaney confronted in 2013 and was shocked by Hayes’s allegations in opposition to Heaney. Lamont mentioned that neither he nor then-Ranges improvement supervisor Ian Flack had acquired complaints about Heaney throughout or after his time with the Ranges.
‘The position is on the AFL payroll, however the further effort Mark places in exterior his paid place is vastly appreciated’
Heaney’s time as a Melbourne-based soccer coach resulted in January of 2009, when the then-37-year-old was appointed because the AFL’s regional supervisor for Northern New South Wales.
Heaney was to play an important position within the AFL’s technique to develop into rugby league heartlands and convert junior sporting stars from different codes into Australian Guidelines gamers.
Heaney would ultimately handle an increasing small group of improvement officers whose job was to extend participation within the AFL’s entry-level AusKick program, assist the growth of junior leagues and drive faculty participation.
“The event officers have gotten a reasonably good plan set-up for the primary time period so we’re moving into the faculties,” Heaney advised the Coffs Coast Advocate in 2009.
“The massive factor this 12 months is to guarantee that the work within the faculties flows onto children taking part in with the golf equipment.”
On the time, Heaney was roundly praised for dedication to the AFL trigger. “New AFL regional supervisor Mark Heaney is already making his mark on the native sport along with his enthusiasm and organisation,” mentioned one native newspaper editorial.
“The position is on the AFL payroll, however the further effort Mark places in exterior his paid place is vastly appreciated.”
Grafton, one of many regional hubs in Heaney’s territory, quickly skilled “unprecedented curiosity” in AFL AusKick, with participation rising by 300 per cent.
Along with his administrative duties, Heaney was quickly teaching gamers within the AFL’s NSW/ACT Expertise Academy and Northern Warmth junior consultant groups whose gamers vied for state choice from Beneath 14s via to Beneath 18s
It was additionally Heaney’s job to coordinate faculty visits by AFL gamers and coaches from the Sydney Swans, and Heaney used his hyperlinks to Hawthorn soccer membership to supply a choose band of junior gamers from Coffs Harbour the chance to coach with the Hawks.
“Most likely that is been pushed by Mark Heaney who clearly has obtained some hyperlinks with the Hawks as he used to educate with the Jap Ranges again there so we’re solely too glad to assist out the place we will,” a Hawthorn assistant mentioned on the time.
‘Heaney and Roos will type a working partnership’
In 2011, Heaney’s essential position within the AFL’s growth plans was cemented with the institution of a Sydney Swans North Coast academy in Coffs Harbour.
Launched by then-Swans coach Paul Roos and Adam Goodes in February of that 12 months, it aimed to quick monitor the event of junior gamers in Heaney’s north-coast zone. It could supply alternatives to native boys aged between 9 and 18 and Heaney could be in control of teaching.
“Heaney and Roos will type a working partnership which can inject an enormous pool of teaching data into faculties and junior golf equipment,” mentioned a neighborhood newspaper report of the time.
“The profile and status of the academy shall be monumental,” Heaney added.
“Precisely the identical teaching they get within the metropolis is coming right here … the Swans are already taking a look at two native children, together with one other 9 who might simply find yourself on their checklist. It’s going to go into overdrive much more when the academy begins up.
“The response, the build-up and massive profile AFL is getting is unbelievable.”
In a response to questions from the ABC, a spokesperson from the Sydney Swans confirmed “the Swans Academy employed Mark Heaney on an off-the-cuff foundation from 2011-2013”.
Inside a 12 months, the primary of Heaney’s academy gamers had graduated to the Swans reserves group and Heaney was additionally overseeing AFL Mix showcases for league recruiters.
Early in 2013, when the AFL and Heaney’s rise in northern New South Wales continued apace, the Sydney Swans senior squad spent a part of a week-long coaching camp providing teaching tricks to Coffs Coast faculty youngsters.
“The chance to have a kick about with a premiership participant is one thing any footy fan would like to do,” Heaney mentioned in 2013.
“Each time the Swans have made the journey up right here it has seen extra children signing on to play which is nice for the game.”
‘That could be a disturbing factor’
In mid-Could of 2013, the north-coast AFL neighborhood was rocked by media reviews of Heaney’s arrest following a four-week covert investigation by the New South Wales State Crime Command youngster exploitation web unit.
The 42-year-old quickly appeared in Coffs Harbour native courtroom, charged with utilizing a carriage service to groom an individual below 16 and 4 counts of utilizing a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to individuals below 16.
Former Geelong premiership captain Tom Harley, then normal supervisor of AFL New South Wales/ACT, instantly stood Heaney down pending the end result of courtroom proceedings and referred to as a neighborhood discussion board in Coffs Harbour for 100 involved dad and mom.
The AFL launched an announcement saying it was “shocked and appalled by the allegations” and appealed for additional info from dad and mom of gamers who’d performed below Heaney.
Likewise, police appealed for extra witnesses in Heaney’s case.
“As a result of he’s so well-known, that may be a disturbing factor in relation to this investigation and that is why police have acted rapidly yesterday in arresting him, due to his entry to youngsters,” mentioned State Crime Command youngster exploitation web unit group chief Detective Sergeant Richard Lengthy.
However the information induced barely a ripple in Melbourne, with Heaney’s teaching colleagues and former gamers from Jap Ranges and Murray Bushrangers solely listening to of the costs years later.
Likewise in July 2014, when surprising particulars of the case emerged after Heaney pleaded responsible of 1 rely of utilizing a carriage service to groom an individual below 16 years and sentenced to 18 months in jail with a minimal time period of 12 months.
In its assertion to the ABC, Sydney Swans confirmed that Heaney was “stood down instantly when the costs got here to gentle”.
“We take these issues extraordinarily severely and the AFL Integrity Division was concerned from the outset.”
In response to questions from the ABC, the AFL wouldn’t touch upon the findings of its Integrity Division investigation.
‘Are you tossing proper now?’
The Courtroom heard Heaney had contacted a 13-year-old junior footballer through Fb messenger and instigated a sexually express alternate that lasted till 4.30am.
Heaney despatched the boy express photos of himself, together with one by which Heaney was mendacity bare along with his hand over his penis, though Heaney quickly urged the kid to delete the images.
The boy instantly alerted his dad and mom and shortly Heaney was unknowingly chatting to an undercover officer from New South Wales Police.
Within the chats that adopted with the undercover officer, Heaney recommended he and the boy ought to evaluate penis sizes. Heaney additionally recommended a gathering at a lodge he frequented, the place he mentioned the pair might have an ejaculation contest.
“Sticking with the sporting theme, I feel we’ll arrange a goal and see who can shoot the furthest,” Heaney mentioned.
When the undercover officer requested whether or not there could be bodily contact between them, Heaney replied: “We’re each footballers, mate. We are able to deal with a bit.”
Additional messages probed for particulars of the boy’s earlier sexual experiences and in a single, Heaney requested “Are you tossing proper now?”
After accepting that Heaney didn’t intend to comply with via with the recommended lodge room assembly, Justice Wells despatched Heaney to jail till July 2015.
Having “withdrawn emotionally” since Heaney had bombarded him with sexual advances, the boy, in accordance with his father, wouldn’t play soccer once more.
‘A secure, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere’
In an announcement to the ABC, an AFL spokesman mentioned: “On the time of Mark Heaney dealing with costs in 2013, which he was subsequently jailed for, AFL NSW/ACT publicly commented on the matter given Heaney’s employment historical past in soccer.
“AFL NSW/ACT acknowledged the appalling nature of the costs, supplied assist and counselling to affected households and people and urged anybody with additional info to contact police. The AFL confirmed that applicable background checks have been performed on the time.”
The assertion mentioned the AFL “has a system in place that allows anybody concerned within the sport, presently or traditionally, to make a report associated to any allegations which will contravene the AFL’s guidelines and insurance policies, together with sexual or bodily assault”.
“The AFL provides wellbeing assist to anybody who has been concerned within the sport at any degree, previous or current, and has a group devoted to integrity, safety and youngster safeguarding issues,” the assertion mentioned.
“The AFL is dedicated to offering contributors in any respect ranges of the sport, from neighborhood soccer via to the elite sport, with a secure, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere and is extraordinarily sympathetic and prepared to assist anybody who has endured wrongdoing within the sport at any stage.”