From sliding down the back of the hill to sitting in the coaches box, Nathan Hogan has come the full journey.
The new Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles NSW Cup Coach is a life-long Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fan, who is now living the dream of working for the club he loves.
“When I was a kid, I used to run around on the hill at Brookvale. My father and grandfather used to take me to nearly every home game,’’ Hogan said.
I spent a few years sliding down the back of the hill on a piece of cardboard with my brother when we were younger. I had a lot of fun.Nathan Hogan on his days as a kid on the Brookie Hill
“It’s been a really good journey for me to get to this point. I’ve played rugby league, I’ve been a referee, and now I’m coaching. It has been a great experience.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to work with the guys we have at Blacktown Workers and also the top NRL squad at Manly.”
Hogan worked as an Assistant Coach at Blacktown Workers last year under Coach Matt Ballin after previously spending time with the Sydney Roosters Junior Pathways, North Sydney Bears, and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The 40-year-old says he has already learnt plenty by working closely with the Manly Sea Eagles NRL Coaching Staff headed by the experienced Des Hasler.
“Des has been great. He has been really supportive of what we have been doing ever since I’ve come on board,’’ Hogan said.
“All of the Manly staff have been extremely welcoming especially John Bonasera (General Manager of Football), who has been very inclusive with our crew out there at Blacktown.
“From a learning perspective, the Manly Coaching Staff of Des and Assistant Coaches Chad Randall, Michael Monaghan, and Steven Hales have all been great for us.”
“We are working hard in trying to bring the two teams together more and unify how we are going to play to ensure the transition between the two sides is seamless.”
“We have also been trying to work on synergies across other parts of the program too.
"Des has been openly encouraging a bit more collaboration between our Strength and Conditioning programs, so our S&C guys Aaron Hulley and Josh Wendt have been working with Don Singe (High Performance Manager) and Andrew Berridge (Strength and Conditioning Coach) which will help improve our performance.”
Unfortunately for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, their three NSW Cup trials have been cancelled, two due to wet weather and one due to Covid.
This comes on top of the last two seasons heavily impact by Covid. The NSW Cup was cancelled last year after 15 rounds and just one round in 2020.
“We haven’t been able to get a trial game in this time, so it’s going to take a little while for us to gel,’’ Hogan said.
“However, we are really confident with the squad we’ve got. There is a lot of young talent and a strong mix of experience coming through, giving us a balanced squad. We will also have the players to call on who didn’t make the Manly NRL team.”
“We are building a strong culture with the squad at Blacktown and if there are opportunities to be had the guys are prepared and ready to go.”
Blacktown Workers play Penrith at Panthers Stadium on Saturday, March 12, at 3.15pm in the NSW Cup opening round.