Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Nathan Pitchford calls time on an illustrious career

Photo:  Nathan Pitchford has announced his retirement after three league titles in a row with Devonport Strikers. [PlessPix] 

Nathan Pitchford, 32, the Devonport Strikers goalkeeper, has announced his retirement.

He told his team-mates of his decision at training this evening [Tuesday].

Pitchford has been one of the State’s finest custodians over the past decade.

He has played for New Town Eagles in the Southern League and Devonport Strikers in the NPL Tasmania competition since 2018.

Photo:  Nathan Pitchford shows his agility while playing for New Town Eagles. [PlessPix] 

He was studying in Victoria before returning to Tasmania in 2018 and joining Devonport Strikers.

He has played for Tasmania at youth and senior levels.

Pitchford was a key player in Devonport’s NPL Tasmania title win in 2020.

He shared the 2020 Golden Glove Award with Glenorchy Knights’ Lachlan Hart as the NPL Tasmania competition’s best goalkeeper.

Last season, he also won the Walter Pless Media Award as the best player in the NPL Tasmania competition selected by the football media.

Dr Pitchford is an academic at the University of Tasmania in the faculty of Health Sciences and his PhD studies investigated the relationships between sleep, training and recovery in elite team-sport athletes.

His last appearance will be at Lightwood Park next Saturday when Devonport take on Kingborough Lions United in a game that will decide the 2021 NPL Tasmania title.

Devonport need to win and hope that second-placed Glenorchy Knights either lose or don't win by a sufficient margin against Launceston City the same afternoon to pip Devonport for the title.

Lightwood Park has some bad memories for Pitchford.

He was playing for New Town Eagles against Kingborough on the final day of the 2012 season when Eagles surprisingly lost the title to South Hobart.

Needing just a win, Eagles lost 3-2 to fourth-placed Lions [who are fourth this season, too, going into the game against Devonport].

The similarities to this season are amazing.  South Hobart would have had to beat Olympia by five or six goals to pip Eagles for the title, but with Eagles losing and South Hobart beating Olympia 2-1, it was South Hobart who took out the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League title for the fifth year in a row.

Photo:  Nathan Pitchford is shown a yellow card by referee Stratos Plomaritis in Devonport's 1-0 loss to Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park last Saturday. [PlessPix]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Definitely one of the top 5 keepers I've seen in my 46 years of playing here. Enjoy retirement as a keeper Nathan. No doubt like all keepers you'll end up playing striker in the socials lol.