Nathan Slater: There are no easy games in this league! You have to turn up!
Nathan Slater is one of the most exciting half-backs in the National Conference League (NCL). His try scoring record speaks for itself and his blistering pace has punished teams of all standings in the highest tier of amateur rugby. It is fair to say we need more players of Nathan's quality in the NCL, players who have been in and around the professional ranks and think outside the box to play creative rugby. However, despite Slater's obvious individual talent, the same cannot be said about his team as a whole, as Myton Warriors remain bottom of the NCL Premier table.
Nathan has featured in several GRM episodes along with his Myton teammates, you can watch him in action by following the link at the end of this article.
I recently interviewed the 25 year old to discuss his rise up to being one of the stars of the NCL and Myton Warriors' current predicament.
1. Tell us a bit of background on your rugby career.
" I've been involved at Hull FC, Doncaster, Hull Kingston Rovers, Bransholme and West Hull. I signed for Myton when I was 12 and left when I was 16 to sign for Hull KR. I spent 3 years at Hull KR to then rejoin Myton for my second spell in the first team. So all together I have played at Myton for 9 years!"
2. what has been your biggest achievement playing for Myton?
" I've had some good times at Myton... Promotion to the top NCL league is up there, but the road to the national cup final was among the best! Sadly I missed the final to tour Jamaica with BARLA!"
3. You're well known for your try scoring tally, talk us through some of the accolades you have achieved over the years.
" I've won the NCL Top Try Scorer award for 3 years back to back. Scoring 34 in 2014 and 2015. I then scored 40 tries in 2016! To top that off I won NCL Player of the year on our way to promotion. I also won top try scorer in the league last year with 20 tries before I broke my knees and missed the last 7 games! I am confident I would have won it for the NCL for the 4th year in a row, but it wasn't to be! "
4. As a half-back what do you enjoy more, creating chances or scoring tries?
"I'm more of an 'off the cuff' player- but my record speaks for itself. Having scored 128 tries in 88 games I suppose I prefer scoring them! However I'm always helping my teammates to send them over too! I'd rather win than score, because I don't like losing!"
5. Who are the toughest team you have faced?
" The toughest team I'd say is Halifax!They beat us 94-4 in the cup! Fyston are also up there, played them at their place and they had a massive crowd! They really come at you!
6. Are there any notable players you have played with or against?
" Best player I have played against would be John Bateman at Bradford Dudley Hill. He played above his age group and ripped us apart! In terms of the best players i've played with I'd have to go with the people who have helped my game and that's my halfback partner Kris Walker and Ash James ...but look out for young Liam Ward, massive prospect!
7. How would you describe Myton's season so far?
" It has been really hard to take! We've been to patchy and lost a man in Tony Spence! We have also lost a few bodies to injuries. It was tough getting beat in the last second by Thatto and Underbank, we went to the champions and was good value for the win! We're down on conference at the minute but when your back is against the wall you need to come out fighting and truth be told there's only about ten of us buying in to it!"
8. Would you say there is more pressure on senior players like yourself to keep Myton afloat?
"YES! We have the same blokes turning up for each other doing 80 minutes! The core of the team include our skipper Kris, myself, Ash James, Lee James and Nick Halstead! This core is made up of players who are 25 or over so it's a very young squad! However it's going to build us well in the long run! We have 18 year-old lads putting their bodies on the line we cant ask for more than that. We just have to knuckle down remind a real close group because we're the only ones that can change this and we're fully behind Dave Wray our coach!
9. It is still early doors into a long season. But what is the goal for the rest of the season?
" The goal is to stay up and fight to the death! There's no panic settling in yet, we are confident in our ability to turn things around! we're not a million miles away, we just need to learn to defend because scoring tries is not a problem for us! There are no easy games in this league, you have to turn up with the right attitude otherwise you're getting a number put on you!"
Thanks for taking the time to Speak to GRM Nathan! Good luck this season!
Written by Shawn Boatin