Mark Nicholls: ‘It’s the best job in the world’

Published 12:00pm 18 January 2024

Mark Nicholls: ‘It’s the best job in the world’
Words by Kylie Knight

The GOAT, Mark Nicholls, is keen to keep playing as long as he can after a brief stint working in project management during the offseason.

The 34-year-old Prop reckons it was harder than preseason training, which has been gruelling in the heat this summer.

See photos from today’s training session at the end of this story

“It’s probably the best job in the world. I’ll keep playing for as long as I can. Reality … I also know that eventually age is going to catch up to me,” he says.

“It’s up to me. If I’m still playing good footy and the club still wants to keep me … I still enjoy coming into training and being around the boys.

“I did two weeks of work in the offseason, and I realised how good footy is. I was working for Four Group. I did project management a couple of years ago at university … I was on the worksite helping the project managers. It was long hours and I was getting home late, cooking dinner and going to work again the next day.

“I actually only did it for eight days because there was a public holiday and I flew down to Sydney for a wedding so when I say two weeks, it was eight days and still a bit too hard for me.”

Mark Nicholls: ‘It’s the best job in the world’

Feeling good

Nicholls says, while this preseason has been hot and humid, his body is holding up well.

“A few mates on social media sent me the top 10 oldest players and I’m now in there, so that’s a bit of a reality check. It’s always good this time of year the young boys keep me young, trying to keep up with them,” he says.

His contract is up at the end of this season, but Nicholls says there’s an option for him to continue playing in 2025.

“I guess it’s up to me. I don’t see myself playing footy anywhere else so if I’m playing good enough, and the club wants to keep me, I guess the ball is in my court in that regard,” he says.

“If the young guys are pushing through and the club wants to give them a go, that’s it, I’ll rip in and make sure if it’s going to be my last year, it’s a good year.

“If one or a few of those young guys come in and put me out of a spot, I’d be more than happy to step aside for the good of the club but by the same token, if I’m still playing good footy and the club still wants me … I’m not going to play anywhere else.”

Mark Nicholls: ‘It’s the best job in the world’

Finals footy goal

For a player used to playing finals footy, missing the business end of the 2023 season has fueled his desire to be part of the action this year. And he’s not alone…

“It was interesting … the Storm boys commented that they’ve always played finals … it’s like Origin, it’s the pinnacle of our game and it’s a weird feeling when you’re sitting on the couch. You get the itchy feet, I guess,” he explains.

“You want to be playing in those big games. We turn up in November and the goal is for us to play finals footy and that’s what we’re trying to do for ourselves and for the fans, all the members and the local community.”

See the training photo gallery below (click through)

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