This weekend the Club acknowledges a significant milestone achieved by one of the Demon’s popular personalities. In his 14th season with the Demons, Nick will play his 150th game.
A former soccer player, Nick played 12 seasons of the round ball game with the West Pennant Hills Lions, before switching to Aussie Rules. His mate, Oliver Brodie, coaxed Nick across to the new code, joining Westbrook Juniors in 2007. Nick played 23 games over two seasons in the Under 15s and 16s and his team-mates included Oli Brodie and Tim Wales.
Having convinced himself that Aussie Rules was his preferred code, Nick joined the Pennant Hills Senior Club in 2009 as a 16 year old. He played 34 games in the Under 18s across two seasons 2009 and 2010 and also made his open-age debut in 2010, playing a game in Reserve grade and a couple in third grade.
For the next several seasons Nick was a regular Reserve grader, playing under the tutelage of Coach Jason Clarke for much of that time and received the Best Team Man Award in 2012.
His junior coaches described Nick as the “the rock in our backline”, a characteristic that he definitely brought with him to the senior club. Nick obviously enjoys his footy and the team camaraderie that a football club provides. On-field he is a competitive and energetic player. He enjoys the physicality and never shirks a tough contest. He is a fine leader.
However, with only modest footy ambitions, he has been content to drop back to the thirds in recent times where he can be a consistent contributor and can just enjoy running on the field and kicking a footy with his mates. In his own words ‘… I have gradually slid down the divisions as I get older, slower and fatter.’ Off-field, he is a friendly and likable character, always willing to have a chat.
In 2018, he was a member of the 2018 Division One premiership side and won the Coaches Award.
A right foot kick, he spent his ‘… early years playing in defence, then moved up forward for a few years. Nowadays I tend to spend most of my time in the midfield or in the forward line.’ He reckons, tongue in cheek for sure, that Evan Danilo is the best he’s ever played with and the toughest opponent was former Swans player, Troy Luff.
As for a career highlight, he reckons taking a mark over former Melbourne and West Coast player, Cale Morton (a “renowned rough face”) takes the cake. He also recalls some Demon folklore, the time his dad filled in for the team when Darcy Chivers broke his leg down at Manly and the Demons copped a right flogging that day! With a nod to another Pennant Hills ‘legend’, Nick reckons he came to the Club because he’d ‘… heard about Ben ‘Magic’ Miles, and simply had to see what all the FUSS was about!’
In 2019 it was time for Nick to turn his hand to coaching by taking on the role for the Women’s Division Three side. He is now in his fourth season in this role.
Nick’s father, Henri, is another familiar face and has had various roles at the club, notably he was Team Manager for the Under 18s in 2010 and the Club’s volunteer and club umpire coordinator for several seasons. In 2018 Henri returned to help run the Division One team, again as Team Manager, a role that he currently undertakes for the Women’s Division Three team. Henri and family were awarded the President’s Trophy in 2010 in recognition of their dedicated service to the Club.
Here’s wishing Nick and his team-mates every success in Saturday’s milestone match.