Irymple Football Club champion Nathan Hamence will play his 250th game tomorrow when the Swallows take on Robinvale-Euston at home, adding yet another achievement to a storied career.
Nathan has played for the seniors at Irymple since 2006, barely missing a game, and his resume speaks for itself.
With four premierships, 30 finals appearances, four inter-league appearances, a McLeod Medal (league best and fairest), club best and fairest and club captaincy all to his name, Nathan is Irymple’s most decorated player.
He has also been one of the club’s most durable players, only missing a handful of games for the seniors since debut.
“I’m not really sure what the key to my success has been honestly,” Nathan said.
“I used to train pretty hard and do extra preparation outside of the team’s trainings and towards my latter stages now I’ve been able to manage my body pretty well and not overdo it.”
For Nathan, it’s not just been about life on the field at Irymple, but also the environment off the field at the club which has kept him motivated.
“The guys I’ve played with, I’ve made great friends,” he said.
“The club’s got a great support base and it’s a great community, everyone’s close which is fantastic.”
Nathan’s attitude towards the game and the Irymple Football Club has earned him maximum respect amongst his peers.
Club stalwart Leon Crisera was full of praise for the milestone man ahead of his 250th appearance.
“He’s extremely humble and all about the team and the club, and he’s also one of the hardest workers – he never misses a night,” he said.
“Loyalty is a dying art so what Nathan has done by playing his whole senior career at the one club is brilliant, he’s revered by all.”
Club president Dennis Mitchell is also thrilled to see Nathan reach yet another achievement.
“The term greatest of all time is thrown around at sporting clubs but for me Nathan must be considered in that frame,” Dennis said.
“He has served the club with class and humility and epitomises our principles of discipline, respect and honesty.”
With the team now sinking their teeth into the current SFNL season, Nathan is as hungry as ever.
While he’s already won four premierships, he wants desperately to add another to his tally.
“The four flags are definitely the standout for me, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Nathan said.
“We play to win premierships and we’d like to think we can get there again this year and win another.”