Sport

Nick Sheldon making big bang for Echuca

By Tyler Maher

Echuca may have found itself a Mr Fix-It for almost any situation.

Nick Sheldon, who is new to Victoria Park this season, is fast making a name for himself as the man Simon Maddox and Andrew Walker turn to when they need a job done right.

Whether it be as a small forward, midfield accumulator or superstar stopper, Sheldon’s versatility allows his magnet to shift around Echuca’s whiteboard with ease on game day.

Sheldon’s willingness to sacrifice his own game for the good of the team was on full display last week when he shut down Kyabram jet Mick Mattingly, wearing the wizardly wingman like a glove for much of the second semi-final.

But it was not a role he had shown previous promise in this campaign, simply a task he took to with great aptitude.

Whether or not Sheldon fulfils another tagging role in Sunday’s Goulburn Valley League preliminary final against Shepparton remains up in the air though.

‘‘Pretty much the first time I’d had a go at tagging was the last quarter against Tatura the week before,’’ Sheldon said.

‘‘Maybe (I’ll tag someone), we’ll wait and see if anyone’s on fire early. But at this stage it hasn’t been spoken about.

‘‘This is the furthest I’ve ever been in the finals, so hopefully we can keep it going for another week.’’

Sheldon is also a Mr Fix-It off of the field, with his physiotherapy career the key reason he made the move to Echuca this season after playing in the Northern Football League for Kilmore for the past two seasons.

‘‘I mainly moved up for work (at Echuca-Moama Physiotherapy),’’ Sheldon said.

‘‘It’s my first year at Echuca, but it’s been really good, the boys have been really welcoming for myself and my partner.’’

Walker was full of praise for Sheldon’s efforts this year, especially after working his way back into the senior side after injury.

‘‘Personally I’ve loved what he’s been able to do, especially in the second half of the year,’’ Walker said.

‘‘He had some hamstring issues mid-season and being a physiotherapist himself he was able to recover very well and be an example for the rest of the group for how to go about it.

‘‘He’s come back fitter and stronger and has been filling different roles for us, he played that tagging role last week, can play small forward or run through the midfield for us.

‘‘He’s crucial to our team.’’

And having a mentor such as Walker around, along with the likes of Simon Buckley, has certainly helped not only Sheldon, but the Murray Bombers as a whole as they strive to win their way through to a first grand final since 2003.

‘‘It’s good just to try and learn off of them, as you can tell from our results I think we’ve improved as a team throughout the year,’’ Sheldon said.

‘‘I think that comes a bit from learning from those around us with more experience.’’