Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Lifelong Cutters’ milestone

- Dedicated Timbercutt­er Nathan O’Callaghan (pictured) reached the magical 300-game milestone on Saturday. ~ Meg Saultry

But what made his feat even more special was the fact he did it as a one-club player at Mathoura.

Rejecting offers from far and wide throughout his senior career to stay with the ‘Cutters, Nathan joins brother Trent and father Steve in reaching the lauded milestone at the club.

Trent notched up 300 games a few years ago, and Steve is Mathoura’s games record-holder with 565 games.

Nathan’s achievemen­t means the three men have played in excess of 1150 senior games combined.

Starting his senior career at Mathoura in 2000 as a 15 year-old, Nathan was awarded the captaincy in 2003, a position he held until 2011.

Playing under 13 different senior coaches and numerous reserves coaches as well, he is the only current player to have lined up with members of the Timbercutt­ers’ last premiershi­p in 1993.

Mathoura reserves coach Tim McCormick said he talked Nathan out of retirement over a few beers at Christmas in the hope of getting him to the magical 300-game mark.

But if Nathan thought it would be a cruise to the finish line, he was very wrong. McCormick played him in the centre from the get-go.

He hasn’t disappoint­ed, winding back the clock on some of his vintage form.

A few injuries throughout the season has seen the 300-game target pushed back, before he finally reached the magic number against the Deni Rovers on Saturday.

McCormick said it was a credit to Nathan for reaching the 300-game mark with one club.

‘‘He has stayed through thick and thin and it is very deserving that he gets to this milestone.’’

Nathan also had a long junior career in the the under 14 and 17s, where he played a combined 234 games while captaining both grades.

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