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Nelson hits 200

Saturday, 26th May, 2018

West’s Matt Nelson plays his 200th League game today. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan West’s Matt Nelson plays his 200th League game today. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

It’s a huge game for a huge man today as West ruckman Matt Nelson play’s his 200th League game against North at the Jubilee Oval.

Nelson played his first game in the red and black guernsey as a four-year-old in 1993 when he played in Under 5s as part of the club’s Mosquito Fleet.

He lists the highlights of his career as playing in the winning West Under 18 Premiership side in 2004. He was only 15 at the time and he was awarded the Best on Ground medal despite being the youngest player in the team.

The low light of his career came in 2008 when he had to sit out the entire season with a severe back injury, which almost ended his career.

“2008 was a tough one,” Nelson said. 

“Footy had been such a big part of my life for the past 15 years and to have to sit on the sidelines and watch my team mates take the field without me was a bit soul destroying.”

Despite lean results from the Robins over the past decade, Nelson said that he’s never thought of leaving.

“I have played for this club for 25 years and no matter how tough it has been, it has never crossed my mind to leave,” he said.

“The people at West are like my family and I am proud to play my part in mentoring the next generation of players.”

Nelson was for a long time the premiere ruckman in Broken Hill. He’s been awarded the Robins Best and Fairest Medal three times as well as being a constant in AFL Broken Hill’s Team of the Year for over a decade.

While he’s slowed down a bit over the past couple of seasons due to carrying almost 100 percent of the ruck duties at West, he can still produce quality football as he showed last week.

Nelson was one of West’s best in their stirring eight-point win over Central. It was West’s first win of 2018 and keeps them in the hunt for finals but things will be tough today coming up against North.

The Bulldogs were poor last weekend against South and will be keen to bounce back in a big way today although Nelson is confident that he and his teammates can get the job done again.

“I am pretty confident that we can celebrate my 200th game with a win,” Nelson said. 

“We are playing good footy at the moment and have selected a strong team this week. Of all the teams in the league, we have been the team to come the closest to containing South in 2018. 

“We are coming off a win last week, so I think we can get the job done. No matter the outcome when the final siren sounds, I am proud to run out with this group of lads and give it our all.” 

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