ANDREW Berry is known around Timboon as the Dustin Fletcher of the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL).
At first, the 33-year-old didn’t like the connection with the Essendon veteran, but he’s warming to it.
Today Berry will play his 300th club game for Timboon Demons, which includes his contributions to the Heytesbury football club.
“Some of the boys have been calling me Dustin Fletcher,” he laughed this week.
“I’ve got no weight on me and I’m as skinny as anything.
“But I still manage to get my arms and legs in spots people don’t expect me to get to.”
Berry, who has lived in the Timboon region all his life, was introduced to football at Heytesbury, making his senior debut in 1995 as a teenager.
Curiously, he won the club’s most improved award in 1999 and 2001.
“I’m not sure how that happened,” he said.
“Hopefully it meant that I put my head down, worked hard and did what the coach asked.
“That’s probably been my philosophy in football and hopefully that (continues) to get me picked for the senior side each week.”
The father-of-three has been lucky with injury and estimates 98 per cent of his senior career has been played in the top grade.
He was part of Heytesbury Demons’ grand final win in 2002 before the club merged with fellow Heytesbury-Mount Noorat league side Timboon Saints and joined the Warrnambool and District league.
Berry went on to be part of the Timboon Demons’ premiership in 2008.
The half-back flanker will consider retirement at the end of this year but will play on if his body remains in good shape.
“They tell me it’s a long time out of the game,” he said.
Timboon Demons, which is yet to drop a game, hosts reigning premier Kolora-Noorat this afternoon.
Berry knows the task is a tough one, but it will be an insightful learning opportunity as the Demons target finals.
“We’ve had a good start to the year but obviously it will be a test (today).
“We’re confident in the way we’re playing.
“It’s been a while since we’ve played finals. But once you make finals, you never know what can happen.”