Having been around the traps for a while, Nathan Friend has covered many miles, played in many games and always been a fan favourite wherever he has gone.
But as you play more games and travel further, the body of a rugby league player knows when the time is right to stand down and Friend has made that decision.
Opting to retire at the completion of the 2016 season, Friend is currently at the Gold Coast Titans, his 2nd stint at the club.
Having previously played for the Brisbane Broncos, the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors, Friend has always played the game with spirit and integrity.
Via his Instagram account, Friend made the following statement.
“I want to take this opportunity to announce my retirement at the end of the season from the game I’ve loved since my first encounter at five years old,” Friend said on his Instagram.
“Thanks to everyone that has had a hand in my career. I am forever grateful for the support and guidance I’ve received.
“It’s now time to time to give back to my beautiful wife who has sacrificed so much of her life to support me on my endeavours whilst producing 2 beautiful children.
“I look forward to the next chapter of parental duties on weekends and being around family and loved ones once again.”
A foundation player during the Titans inception, coach Neil Henry was pleased that the veteran opted to return and continue at the club for another stint.
â€œItâ€™s been great to be able to see him come back and finish at the club where he was a foundation player and played 100 games previously,â€ he said.
â€œHe has been a key component of rebuilding the club and a great example to every young player coming through by being a thorough professional in all that he does.
â€œHeâ€™s not a big man in a tough sport and the fact he has played 235 games at NRL level is a tribute to him, his preparation and leadership and we all know that will continue until the end of the season.â€
With the Titans a real chance at making the top eight and the finals in 2016, Friend wants to finish his career on a as much of a high note as possible.
â€œThat would be great,â€ he said.
â€œBut there is a lot to be done before that might eventuate and I just want to work as hard as I can for the team and enjoy every moment I can until whenever my last game might be.â€