Part 2: Who is player #18?

AFTER 14 years and 400 first team games for Sheffield United in the English Division 1, the Championship and most importantly the Premier League, it could be truly said that Monty was a ‘loyal servant.’

CCMariners.com.au contributor Bob Brooks spoke with Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery to discover his personal football story. Here's part two of Bob's piece detailing some of Montgomery's life and career.

AFTER 14 years and 400 first team games for Sheffield United in the English Division 1, the Championship and most importantly the Premier League, it could be truly said that Monty was a ‘loyal servant.- During these years offers came from other clubs around Britain. The Blades had given him the chance of a full time football career, something that many other young lads can only dream of. So Nick repaid that debt in full and probably more.

United were looking to lower their costs at the end of the 2011/12 season. The open to transfer list was issued and N. Montgomery was on it. A number of England based clubs showed interest but the Leeds, Yorkshire born midfielder saw his chance to follow an idea. Why not sign up with an Australian club? The Mariners and the Blades have a working relationship and as one door closed in dour Yorkshire another one opened in warm, sunny Australia.

Nick pays tribute to Neil Warnock, a former United Manager who gave him a two year scholarship as a raw 16 year old and picked him in the first team just over twelve months later. Nick has fond memories of playing Arsenal at Highbury and at their smart new Emirates ground. Old Trafford, like Brammall Lane, also once had a cricket pitch as part of the ground. Nick-s visits to the famous Wembley were in both League and FA Cup Semi-finals.

Team spirit excels within the Mariners. After training all the players, coaches and support staff take lunch together. That is the Graham Arnold way. At training the players are fitted with a monitor around their chests which records all manner of data. Andrew Clark in his capacity as conditioning and fitness ‘guru- uses this information to ensure that players are at their peak.

It might be expected that a Yorkshireman would nominate fish and chips as his favourite food. In this bloke-s case it is Italian and he enjoys chillies. Through a neighbour the family enjoyed and celebrated their first Australia Day this year. Their neighbour has introduced Nick to some of the finer things in life. He likes a beer but only when they have two days clear of games.

Players such as Patrick Zwaanswijk and Daniel McBreen who are a few years his senior are inspirations to Nick. He realises that through fitness and enthusiasm he can stay in the top competition in Australia. His parents are planning an extended visit from England in the next twelve months. No doubt it will be in the football season.

Number 18 is Nick Montgomery.