He has been involved with rugby league for a long time and with numerous clubs, so at age 34 and with the decision made and one he has accepted, St George Illawarra Dragons half Nathan Fien has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season.
His involvement with rugby league will not cease altogether, however, with Fien to become Captain/Coach of the Thirroul Butchers side in the Illawarra Coal League, as well as continuing to enhance his knowledge and expertise in financial services and business.
Fien is grateful for the opportunities and experiences he has had in the game of rugby league so far and in the NRL and whilst he considered playing on, he thought now was the right time for him to step aside.
“I feel really fortunate to have had the career and opportunities that rugby league has presented me with,” said Fien.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way, from the start that the Cowboys gave me, the opportunity to cement a place in first grade at the Warriors and the opportunity be a part of the famous Dragons Red V and win a Premiership.
“Whilst I believe that I could have played on at the NRL level, the timing is right for me to step back from the NRL.
“The Dragons have recruited really well for next season, they are in good shape and I am really pleased to be able to stay involved in the game I love and the area through the Thirroul Butchers.”
Although it was not an easy decision to make, Fien said the process was made easier knowing that he had options for life after football prepared well in advance.
“I started my invoice financing business FIFO Capital 18 months ago and I am completing a Diploma of Mortgage Broking through the mentorship of Corporate Finance Group in Wollongong,” said Fien.
“I will be able to continue to build and work on these two businesses and I am excited about this.
“The opportunity with Thirroul means that I can continue my association with rugby league and also give back to the sport with the hope of also maintaining a close association with the Dragons.
“I always thought that I would like to get into coaching one day so this is a great start and it will also enable me to work outside of rugby league as well.”
Fien, who hails from Mt Isa, has played in a whopping 272 NRL games to date and has played for the North Queensland Cowboys, the New Zealand Warriors and, most recently, the Dragons.
Fien has several representative Pokies accolades to his name also, having won 22 caps with the New Zealand Kiwis and winning a World Cup and Four Nations in the process, and he has also played for QLD in 2001.
To go with that, Fien has won an NRL premiership (2010) and a World Club Challenge (2011).
With all of those achievements and memories etched forever in his mind, Fien is pleased to have the ability to now be able to look back on them all and be proud of what he achieved in the game.
â€œI have fantastic memories throughout my career and standing there with my teammates celebrating our Premiership win on grand-final day is up there,â€ said Fien.
â€œHolding that Premiership trophy is something that I will always remembers and I am thankful to be a part of such a great Club.
â€œI was fortunate enough to be part of a special New Zealand team who won both the World Cup as well as the Four Nations and they too are tremendous memories I can reflect on someday.â€
One person who has seen a lot of Fien over the years has been Dragons CEO Peter Doust, who was full of praise for Fien and what he has achieved in the NRL.
â€œNathan has had a remarkable career that has seen him play at all levels of the game across multiple clubs and representative teams as well as lifting every available trophy in the game,â€ said Doust.
â€œPlaying 14 years in the NRL is to be respected and characterises his capabilities and commitment.
“Nathan is to be congratulated on both this achievement and for the way he has carried himself on and off the field during this time.
â€œNathan has been a significant contributor to our club as well as the game of rugby league and we are pleased that he has the opportunity to continue his involvement in the game and in our region through the Illawarra Coal Cup.
“On behalf of everyone at the Dragons I thank Nathan for his services and wish him well for his future with his business and family.â€
Similar sentiments were echoed by Dragons coach Steve Price, who has been a fan of Fien this year.
â€œNathan is an outstanding character who has given his all for this Club during his time here,â€ said Price.
â€œHe has been a reliable player who has fitted into whatever role the team has needed him for and he has been a great influence on our younger players.
â€œThe entire playing squad wishes him all the best and we know he will be successful in the next step of his footballing career at the Butchers.â€