Nathan Forth, with Ruth, returned to Australia last week.
When Nathan first turned up to footy training in Saigon at the beginning of 2007, there were only 4 other regular blokes. Nathan was relatively quiet and unassuming. He certainly never talked himself up.
It’s probably fair to say that we didn’t fully appreciate just how silky Nathan’s footy skills were until the 2008 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon. We could barely find a decent photo of any of the rest of us to blow up for the big day. So, 90 per cent of the posters featured Nathan!
The photos reminded us that he was a candidate for leather poisoning each time he ran out onto the field as the stat counter ticked over as freely as it ever did for the other Nathan, Mr Buckley.
The photos also reminded us that there was nothing soft about this silky player when it came to tackling. So long as it was in the play, it was fast, fierce and fair. Nathan never let any opposition player feel like he had had an easy disposal. Even guys twice his size.
The rest of us at the Vietnam Swans dreamed of having the dream centre line of Nathan, Sam Grigg and Matt Stewart. But alas, it was not meant to be.
Prior to his departure, Nathan spoke of his time with the Vietnam Swans. He said that playing for the Vietnam Swans had reminded him of how much “fun” it can be to play footy. Great people in great clubs just having great fun playing footy in Asia.
To lose Nathan and Ruth is a big loss for the Swannies. But of course, we wish them the very best and thank them for their major contributions in lifting the Swans to the next stage of our development. It’s also just part of the transient nature of footy in Asia that all clubs have to deal with.
But the good news is that Nathan has already flagged a comeback with the Swannies – for the ANZAC Day match next month in Thailand on 25 April!
Nathan Back & Forth… You Beauty!!