Moss Vale reunion for Hindmarsh brothers
By SAM HALL Jan. 3, 2013, midnight
Former Parramatta Eels duo Nathan and Ian Hindmarsh are set to reunite in 2013 where their professional careers first materialised - with a junior club, the Moss Vale Dragons.
The brothers, originally from Robertson on the Southern Highlands, have agreed in principle to the occasional Group 6 appearance as a way of giving back to country rugby league.
The pair will be joined by another highlands junior, retired South Sydney forward Scott Geddes, who has been appointed Moss Vale's fitness and strength coach, and former teammate Andrew Bowie, who was recently appointed head coach.
Moss Vale Dragons president Greg Maloney confirmed the club had been in talks with the Hindmarsh brothers after Nathan first entertained the idea of returning to park footy last year.
"Nathan's a Moss Vale junior - he played under 16s and under 14s with the club - and he sees the whole thing as a great way of giving back," Maloney said.
"All four of those guys - Nathan, Ian, Scott and Andrew - went to Parramatta together as juniors to play in the late '90s - and that's how everything sort of came about."
Nathan drew the curtain on an illustrious 330-game NRL career, which included 23 Test and 17 Origin appearances, in September this year.
It's understood the 33-year-old is elated at giving back to the code, but cannot commit to playing an entire season because of a television commentating agreement.
Meanwhile Ian, who retired in 2007 and currently operates a farm in Cowra, agreed to front for the odd game after hearing of his younger brother's interest.
Maloney welcomed the Hindmarsh coup with open arms, and hoped it would help restore the club's first-grade credentials.
Moss Vale last won the Group 6 title in 2010, before suffering a "premiership hangover" and bowing out of the top tier a year later.
The club fielded a third-grade side for the 2012 season, but has ramped up its campaign for 2013.
"It shows that high-profile players aren't afraid to put something back into bush footy," Maloney said of the deal.
"At first, Nathan was worried that him being there for the odd game might push someone else out of the team. But having a former NRL player like him there is a fantastic thing for rugby league.
"The club is hoping that the prospect of playing alongside Nathan or Ian might appeal to young blokes from the area who are thinking about playing again."
The Hindmarsh brothers have strong family roots in the Highlands, where their family's dairy farm still operates at Robertson.