NATHAN Forth cast a despondent figure after the last training session before the 2013 interleague weekend.
The hard nut onballer, 32, had endured a tough start as co-coach of an Old Collegians side ravaged by departures and winless at the bottom of the ladder.
Interleague gave him a chance to play with the best in the Warrnambool and District league, the same players he’d led his young side against.
But just as his enthusiasm for the weekend rose, a strained calf muscle in training — “an old man’s injury” — struck him down.
“That’s footy I suppose. It is what it is. I just went to take off and felt something in the back of the leg,” he said.
Forth recounted the story on Thursday night, moments after Warrnambool and District coach Simon O’Keefe announced him as the 2014 captain.
He will lead the 22-strong side against Colac and District at Central Reserve, Colac today. Panmure ruckman James Keane, 23, is his deputy. “It’s something I didn’t think would happen. I’m very honoured. Hopefully I can lead from the front,” Forth said.
Forth said he had high hopes Warrnambool and District could take the honours today.
Defeat last year means redemption is up for grabs.
“It was all about the club at the start of the season,” he said.
“When we got selected all the boys put their hands up and said they wanted to play.
“(The commitment) has been a lot better than last year.”