AT A GLANCE
Born: Colac, November 7, 1971.
Children: Ebony, Dakota, Chaise, Paris and Tobyn.
Parents: Brian and Pam.
Education: St Mary's Primary School Colac before attending Trinity College Colac.
Sporting Highlight: Playing for Colac when they defeated Terang to win the 1993 Hampden Football Netball League premiership.
Nathan, we'll talk about your 1993 premiership win with Colac in a minute, but firstly where did your footy career begin?
My career started out at Alvie. I was 12 years old and played in the under 16s.
We ended up winning the premiership in the under 16s in 1986 and I booted two goals.
I was asked to go over to do a preseason with Colac in 1987 and I ended up playing the first six games with Colac's under 18 side.
I had kicked 34 goals in those first six games for the under 18s, and the senior coach John McVilly asked me on the Tuesday night to train with the senior squad.
I was 15 years old in 1987 and made my senior debut against Koroit in round seven. We defeated Koroit in that game and I was lucky enough to kick two goals.
The funny thing about playing senior footy with Colac was I was going to school at Trinity College Colac.
My classroom teacher at the time was Brian Brown, the father of Jonathan.
I used to address him as Mr Brown at school, but he also played in the senior side at Colac with me, so on the footy ground I called him Browny.
How did your debut season finish up for Colac in 1987?
We made the finals but lost the elimination final to Terang.
On a personal note, I kicked six goals in the elimination final and ended up booting 52 goals in the seniors after playing the first six games in the under 18s.
Did any VFL-AFL club get in contact with you after your stellar debut season in the HFNL?
I got a phone call from Bill McMaster, who was one of the bosses in the recruiting area for Geelong.
I went down and trained with Geelong's under 19 side in 1988.
I was 16 years old and was asked to train with Victoria's Teal Cup squad side, which was for under 17s.
We made the trip up to Canberra for the games and ended up winning the championships. There were four games in the championships.
Nathan, did any players go on from that Victoria Teal Cup squad side to higher levels of footy?
Yes. There's three blokes that jump into my mind: Wayne Carey, Robert Harvey and Brett Ratten.
The three players showed they were destined for great senior careers in the big league.
Carey played at centre-half-forward. He had a real presence about him.
Ratten was hard at the ball while Harvey was all class. Harvey was a down to earth sort of bloke.
I went back and played in Geelong under 19s side and got the call up for a reserves game with Geelong in the last game of the 1988 season.
We played Collingwood at the old Collingwood ground.
The game was an eye-opening experience. Let's just say the Pies fans got very vocal.
Where did your footy career go in 1989?
I did a preseason with Geelong's reserve side in 1989, but I decided to go back and play at Colac.
I was doing a plumbing apprenticeship in Colac, so it was just easier to stay in Colac and play there than travel down the highway to Geelong.
We made the finals with Colac in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 before winning the flag in 1993. We defeated Terang by 11 points.
I kicked two goals. Michael Lockman was our coach in 1993. He ended up booting over 100 goals in '93.
We were a close group of players at Colac in that era.
We would train three nights in the week and then would go on a bus trip on Saturdays for games at places like Port Fairy, Koroit or Warrnambool, so it was natural we would be good mates.
How many years did you play footy in the HFNL?
I played for Colac in the HFNL for 12 years - in that time I booted over 800 goals. In 1998, I kicked 109 goals, which was my best individual year for the Tigers.
I went and had a year down with St Joeys in Geelong in 1994 before coming back to Colac for 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Colac lost the 1999 grand final to Camperdown. Ken Hinkley was the coach of Camperdown in that season.
We had some good young players like Amon and Liam Buchanan, while Camperdown had Bruce Cohen, Barney Hinkley, Damien Meade and Ed Goold.
What was your opinion of Colac transferring from the HFNL to the Geelong Football League in 2001?
I was in favour of the move. The travel for Colac players to places like Port Fairy and Koroit was just too much and now it's worse with sides from Hamilton and Portland in the HFNL.
Don't get me wrong, it was good, tough footy in the HFNL, but the travel was just taking its toll on our players and officials.
Who were some of the good players you played against or saw play in your time in the HFNL?
As I said previously, it was good, tough footy in my time in the HFNL. I was lucky to represent Hampden in interleague footy on a few occasions when Grant Thomas was the coach.
Players like Shorty Anderson, Mark O'Keeffe, Tony Russell and Brian Hinkley were top players.
I would have to rate Brendan Dobson and Roy Sutherland as my toughest opponents.
Do you have any regrets about your footy career?
It annoys me that I never had a real crack.
I think I had the ability to play at a higher level, but I never had the application or dedication to play at that level.
When you get older, you question yourself.
Are you involved in footy now?
I started out as the development coach with the Falcons' under 19s for four years, helping out players with their strengths, weaknesses and skills.
I'm an assistant coach of the under 19 Falcons and heavily involved with coaching the girls in the under 19 squad.