By Andrew Jackson
Drummoyne Junior Nick Bertino Finds a Football Family with Growthbuilt SUANFC
In the lead up to this weekend’s Family Day at Henson Park, Andrew Jackson caught up with rising Premier Division talent Nick Bertino to discuss his success and how his junior club Drummoyne Power helped him get to where he is now.
Andrew Jackson: I understand that in your childhood you played for one of Growthbuilt SUANFC’s junior clubs – Drummoyne Power. How important was the club in providing a link towards representing Sydney University?
Nick Bertino: I think it was very important as it provided a clear pathway as to progress from Under 17s into senior footy. If you didn’t play in one of the junior teams you wouldn’t really have a clear changeover between the competitions.
AJ: If you can remember, describe your most unforgettable experience playing for Drummoyne.
NB: We played in a Grand Final in 2013 in the Under 13s, that was quite a memorable moment. Also playing my 150th game at Drummoyne Oval was a pretty memorable day as well.
AJ: You won the Jason McLennan Medal for Best and Fairest for the Colts in 2016 and then you were announced the Most Improved last year in your first season with the Premier Division side. This year, you have been selected in the Premier Division leadership group. How have you achieved such outstanding individual honours?
NB: It was a great honour to be awarded on all those fronts but I think it is the coaching [that helped me achieve my results]. My Colts coach Paul Markou and all my junior coaches have taught me a lot about the game. Also, senior coach Tony Overall has taught me a lot about positioning and where to play. I made a transition from playing midfield into the backline in senior footy and I think that the guidance and instruction from Tony and Gus Stephenson (who coached the backs last year) really helped in settling my nerves and getting me where I need to be in regards to footy
AJ: Considering your accolades, you are clearly highly committed to improving on the sporting field. However, you are also undertaking studies at the University. What are you studying and what advice do you have for younger players who also hope to balance sport and their education.
NB: I am currently studying a double degree – a Bachelor of Science and Commerce. [I would advise young players to] try maintain a balance and keep on top of university work because otherwise you do fall behind. It is quite hard to catch up with the commitments to sport so as long as you stay on top of it and quell it before it becomes too much of a problem it is not that much of an issue I think.
AJ: Your junior club Drummoyne has produced many past and present NEAFL Growthbuilt Sydney University players such as Matt Vicic, Sam Barkley and Tim Barrett and you seem to be on the road towards gaining selection in the near future. How important do you think it is for aspiring footballers to join their junior clubs?
NB: I think it is vastly important because there is no experience like playing the game. The only way someone is going to learn and get better is by practicing and playing the game and by joining your local club you are granted the experience necessary to get to the level that some of those players (Vicic, Barkley and Barrett) are playing at.
Drummoyne Power are one of Growthbuilt SUANFC’s four junior feeder clubs, alongside Glebe Greyhounds, Moore Park Tigers and Newtown Swans.
This weekend sees Growthbuilt SUANFC celebrate their annual Family Day at Henson Park.
Come down and enjoy a jumping castle, free giveaways and Auskick at halftime of our NEAFL clash.
The Colt Division 1 side kicks of the day at 9.30am, followed by the NEAFL side’s first home game of 2018 against Redland.
Nick and his fellow Premier Division teammates will feature later in the day at 2.40pm against the East Coast Eagles.