This weekend the Club acknowledges a significant milestone achieved by one of the Demon’s most recognisable players, Nathan ‘Boxey’ Breen. 2020 is his 15th consecutive season with the Demons.
His time at Penno started in 2006 with two seasons of Under 18s, before playing his first open-age game in 2008. He then had five seasons (2008 – 2012) playing a mix of reserve and third grades. In 2008 he was a member of the third grade premiership side.
In 2013, Boxey and Jarrod Myers became the nucleus of a re-formed third grade side, after a two year hiatus in which the club was unable to field the ‘’thirsty thirds’’. Jarrod was Coach and Box was Captain and the newly formed third grade side was an immediate success, winning the 2013 Division Four Flag. Since then, Boxey has played almost exclusively in the third grade side, making it his own fiefdom, and he is also the team’s heart and soul.
In his eight seasons leading the third grade side, Box has been either Captain, Coach or both for the duration and is Captain/Coach in 2020. His commitment to the team is unrivalled and he likely holds the club record for 3rd grade appearances, currently 141 games. Since its reformation in 2013, the 3rd grade side has made finals every year, and participated in four Grand Finals. In addition to the victory in 2013, the team won another flag in 2018 and was runner-up in two others, 2016 and most recently last season in 2019. Boxey was the captain in both the 2013 and 2018 flags.
Whilst he hasn’t won a club B&F, he has been runner-up 4 times and that’s nothing to sniff at. But, in spite of the disappointment of losing a Grand Final in which Penno were firm favourites, in 2016 Boxey was rewarded for his high calibre and consistent form throughout the season, winning the McFarlane Medal for the Best & Fairest in the Division Three competition. Capping off a year of personal achievements, Boxey was also named Pennant Hills Footballer of the Year, creating Club history by becoming the first player outside of the senior team to win this award.
At the 2016 Phelan Mostyn Medal awards night, Boxey received his McFarlane Medal from Tom Harley, former Geelong veteran and one-time General Manager of AFL NSW/ACT. When asked about how he prepares for the season, Boxey responded glibly … “Ah, yeah … pre-season is probably not my forte … I don’t think I’ve got a hard-ball get all my life … I just hang at the back of packs and get plenty of touches that way.”
But don’t be deceived, Boxey was being way too modest. He is a hard-working, highly skilled player, by both hand and foot, and a popular leader at the Club. He has a good football brain and strong leadership qualities. He has a passion for the game and is a loyal Penno man. Brendan Gregor has been assistant coach of the 3rd grade side for several seasons and says that Boxey is ‘ultra-competitive’ and is a ‘self-confessed sports nut and footy nerd. He makes it his mission to know the opposition each week, spending time going over results and player stats to be as prepared as possible.’ Box is a ‘smart player, reads the play really well, enabling him to get around the field to be in the right position to stop an opposition forward thrust or be the start of an attacking passage of play for Penno.’
On behalf of everyone at Pennant Hills we wish Boxey the best of luck for his 200 game milestone match and congratulate him on this magnificent achievement!
|NATHAN BREEN – CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
(2006 – 2020)
|55 Reserve Grade
141 Third Grade
4 Lower Grade
28 Under 18
|3 x Third Grade
|2018 (Division One)
2013 (Division Four)
2008 (Second Division)
|McFarlane Medal (Winner 21 votes)||2016 (Division Three)|
|Pennant Hills Footballer of the Year
Third Grade R/U B&F
Under 18 Devils R/U B&F
|2016 (Division Three)
2019, 2014, 2013
|Coaching & Leadership|
|Third Grade Captain
Third Grade Coach
|2018 – 2020, 2013/14 (5 seasons)
2020, 2015 – 17 (4 seasons)
NATHAN BREEN – MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
|Division One Grand Final 2018 – Blacktown ISP – 9 September 2018
Pennant Hills 8.6-54 defeated Sydney University 6.10-46
Adam Smith Best on Ground in GF
|Division Four Grand Final 2013 – Blacktown ISP – 14 September 2013
Pennant Hills 14.11-95 defeated Sydney University 4.4-28
Blair Hatherley & Paul Randazzo 3 goals each
Evan Danilo Best on Ground in GF
|Second Division Grand Final 2008 – Mahoney Park – 13 September 2008
Pennant Hills 18.10-118 defeated Sydney Uni Blue 13.5-83
Matthew Hayman & Greg Hume 5 goals each
Jarrod Myers Best on Ground in GF