Educated at St. Ignatius College, Damien Nygaard played four seasons in Norwood's junior grades before being promoted to the Reserves. A great kick and sure ball-handler, he spent most of his football career with the Redlegs playing in defence, mainly as a half-back flanker, and earlier in his league career as a Full-Back. His ability to read the game allowed him to compensate for the lack of height normally required for a key defender.
Nygaard played as a half-forward flanker in the last minor round match of 1968, in a move that proved to be a master-stroke, as he took to the new role immediately. So much so, that his form the following year saw him selected in the South Australian squad to play in the Australian Football Carnival in Adelaide.
Unfortunately, in Round 4 of 1969 his season suffered a severe setback. In what was regarded as one of the more controversial incidents in SANFL history, he was involved in a "clash" with Glenelg's captain-coach Neil Kerley, which saw Nygaard sustain a broken jaw and the Norwood Oval crowd close to rioting.
The following season saw Nygaard move to West Perth, in the same year that John Wynne transferred to Norwood from West Perth. In the two seasons and 14 games he spent in the West Australian Football League, Nygaard was unable to recapture the same form he had shown with Norwood.
He returned to Norwood in 1972, but only played a handful of Reserve games. In 1974 Nygaard went to America, and tried out as a punter with gridiron club, Green Bay Packers.
R Cialini June 2014