Nathon Irvin was a Wagga Wagga boy who did good work as a lively forward with Norwood, Sturt and Glenelg after injuries sabotaged his AFL career at the Sydney Swans.
He was born in Wagga on 31 January 1973 but first played Australian Rules in 1978 when his family moved to Esperance, WA, for two years.
Back in Wagga, he joined Eastlakes Mangoplah Cookardinia United Goannas as a junior and then played 44 senior games before being drafted by the Sydney Swans in 1990 when he was 17. He played 62 reserves games with the Swans and one senior game in 1992. Delisted by coach Ron Barassi after a season of injuries, he went to Norwood after training with South Adelaide and Central District.
“Todd Davey was at Norwood and we played at the Swans together. It just felt right,” said Nathon in contributing to this bio.
“Neil Craig was hard on us but really taught me a lot and I improved enough in season ’94 with Norwood (we were good enough to win it that year I believe) to get drafted again in 1994 to Footscray (Western Bulldogs now). “Broke my leg in a pre season game and they delisted me, so I came back. Really loved my time at Norwood. Great club, amazing people and mates".
“I didn’t want to leave but after a conversation with Peter Rohde at the start of ’97, where he said he felt I may not have been in his starting side following some injury history, I was offered a chance at the struggling Sturt club.”
Nathon kicked 22 goals for the Norwood league team and 32 goals in 30 reserves games. Despite persistent injuries he played 48 games for 27 goals with Sturt from 1997 to 2000 and 14 games for 11 goals with Glenelg in 2001 and 2002. He taught at Sacred Heart College.
“I went home in 2002 and coached Wagga Tigers in the AFL Canberra and continued to play until I did an ACL at the age of 43,” said Nathon.
“These days back in Wagga I’m married and have four kids, Alexandra, Otis, Clover and Tallow. I coach a lot of locals - senior, junior and rep footy. I love to keep fit and have completed two Ironman Triathlons.
“I work for TAFE NSW and oversee six of our local campuses. I regularly visit Adelaide and catch up with past Redleg players.”
N. Irvin with D. Cox, P. Robins, G. Adams November 2022