Nigel Osborn has informed the club that he will not be able to continue playing next year after being accepted into the SAMFS.
“Its always been a life goal of mine to play league footy, but also to become a Firefighter. I’ve been applying since I was 20 and after a few failed attempts, I managed to get through their major cuts and progress slowly through the rounds. After I made it past my interview back in June (a couple of weeks after my league debut) things really started to get to the pointy end of the application process. I was invited to attend the 2nd physical test, which I passed and the only hurdle left from there was the medical screening, which went really well too.”
“It was from that point I realized that playing league footy, or any footy for that matter was going to be a huge risk and could ruin my chances of living out that Firefighter dream. I sat down with Gav and had a chat about my future and what was going to be the smartest option moving forwards. Unfortunately for a guy with an average injury history who wasn’t getting any younger, that option was to hang up the boots for now. As much as I (and Gav) wanted me to keep playing, the risk was just too big to run and when you weigh the next 20-30 years of your life up against the next 2-3 at best, it’s a pretty clear decision but still one of the hardest I’ve ever made.”
“In the end, I’d come to terms and was incredibly happy and grateful that I’d been able to achieve 2 life goals in the space of 3 months. I honestly thought I was more of a chance of making the Firey’s than getting a league game, especially after everything I’d been through with my back issues. At one stage it looked like my last game of footy could of been 3 years ago, so to get back playing again was incredible by itself, but to play league footy was beyond what I thought would ever be possible. I can’t express how much I owe to Gav, the coaching staff, the players and the rest of the WAFC. They showed belief in me when I didn’t and gave me opportunities I didn’t think existed and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I know 4 games isn’t quite up there with the greatest of league footy careers but it wouldn’t of mattered if I’d been able to play 40 or 50, I would of been just as happy to play the 1 game and say that I did it.”
“Westies might have lost a player, but they’ve definitely picked up a new fan. I know what the group has been working towards, I know how hard they’re working to get there and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold for the club over the next few years and get the success they are so close to achieving.”
We wish Nigel all the best in the future and will certainly miss his positive nature and determination around the club.