Henry (Devon) Batt began his football career with North Adelaide. As a rover/half forward, he fluctuated between the league and association (reserves) sides. In July 1936 he won selection in the state association side that played against their Western Australian counterparts.
Batt may well have impressed Norwood officials when late in the 1936 season he kicked three goals for the North Adelaide league side against the Redlegs.
In April, 1937, he applied for and was granted a clearance from North Adelaide to Norwood. On gaining his clearance The Advertiser 14 April 1937 had this to say, “Batt should be a strong contender for a position in the forward lines where his left foot kicking could be exploited to advantage.”
He was selected at half forward for the opening game of the season against West Adelaide. Despite kicking a goal in the 80 point thrashing of West Adelaide, for the next few weeks he was either on the reserve bench or in the association side.
The Advertiser 14 February 1937 had predicted the challenge Devon would face earning a league position. “Norwood will have an abundance of forwards from which to make its choice.” They listed players of the quality of, Brown, Huxtable, Plunkett and Klaebe. Nonetheless, Batt was up for the challenge and emphasised this in late May when in an association game against his old side, North Adelaide, he kicked nine goals.
Reporters supported his cause. The News 10 June 1937 “Batt, the former North player should have a good chance of replacing Huxtable on the ruck fringe. He has been roving with the Association side and has done particularly good work. He would be a valuable man too when resting in the forward lines.” He did regain his spot in the side and retained it for the next six games, including an outstanding game against West Torrens in which he kicked four goals.
An unexpected loss to North Adelaide saw Batt as one of the players to pay the price. He did return for what was to be his final league game against Glenelg in late July. He returned to the association and was member of the 1937 premiership side.
Henry Batt like so many other players had considerable talent which allowed him to be an outstanding association player but only managed to put him on the fringe when it came to league selection
B Ridge Feb 2019