Dad’s pride for superstar son amid All Australian controversy
The dust had barely started to settle on Nat Fyfe’s third All Australian blazer when the knives came out.
His selection as All Australian captain “disrespected” West Coast skipper Shannon Hurn, according to North Melbourne premiership player David King.
Fans were predictably far more pointed in their critiques.
Despite the controversy over what should have been a celebratory moment for WA football, Fyfe carried himself with humility and grace.
“If we were going out to play an actual fixture, I’d be more than happy to sit in the co-pilot seat behind Shannon Hurn,” Fyfe said.
The 27-year-old even conceded his credibility as captain of the side “potentially ... should be questioned.”
But back home in Lake Grace, Fyfe’s father David said his son had earned the honour and done himself proud.
A high school student with a build “like a beanpole”, he had grown into one of the country’s most formidable ball-winners through passion and hard work.
He is among the favourites for the Brownlow Medal again this year after leading the AFL in average contested possessions.
“I think he has a lot of time for Shannon and understands his capabilities but if someone bestows something on you, you accept it humbly and I’m sure he’s pretty chuffed about it,” Mr Fyfe said.
He said his son had shown leadership qualities since childhood.
“He was captain of the Lake Grace/Pingrup junior football team from the time I think he was allowed to play,” he said.
“He used to plot the following weekend’s games starting on the Mondays.
“He just loved football and loved the plotting of the games.”
He was a little less diplomatic than his son, too, commenting on the media’s penchant for “stirring the possum” in a two-team State.
“If people all agreed, then who would read the paper the next day?” he said.
Mr Fyfe runs his own trucking business, Fyfe Transport, and was recently appointed president of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association.
He said Fyfe would come home during the off-season to catch up with his old friends and help out with the family business before taking the chance to go travelling.
His mates keep him up to date with the fortunes of his beloved Lake Grace/Pingrup Bombers.
The Bombers are set to face reigning premiers Boxwood Hill in the Ongerup Football Association grand final this Saturday.
“He probably still thinks one day of playing for them,” Mr Fyfe said.
“I think every country kid wants to play for their home town again.”
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