Nick Wright can vouch for the age-old adage that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
It only took him 12 months to realise being a small fish in a big pond wasn’t the way he wanted to live his life.
He headed to Newcastle for a year soon after finishing high school, but ultimately the small-town environment of Kempsey was more for him.
“It was tough living in a big city because I wasn’t used to it. I was used to being in a small town where you could go out and always see someone you knew,” he said.
“I just wanted to move out of home and see what else was out there.”
It wasn’t before he played with Adamstown Rosebud under-20s which gave a glimpse of what is required to progress past local football.
But then homesickness set in.
“Everyone wants to be there really bad and it’s really cut-throat where if you don’t perform in one or two games you might be sitting on the bench the next week,” Wright said.
“Everyone’s really fighting hard for the first grade spot. It was a really good experience playing there.”
While spending time at Rosebuds, the now 21-year-old had a change of career path from psychology to physiotherapy.
He is now two and a half years into that university degree.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I finished year 12, but I knew I was really interested in psychology,” he said.
“After studying that for a year I thought maybe it wouldn’t be the best for me to become a psychologist.
“I like sport, I like researching injuries since I’ve had a couple myself and I thought that would be a really good thing to help people get back from their injuries.”
The attacking midfielder is now back at Kempsey Saints and has reconciled with partner Chelsea after their long-term relationship ended when he was in Newcastle.
“That was a big factor getting back with her and we’re still going strong. I was missing my family a fair bit and my friends.”
Wright has also found the back of the net four times for Saints this season and he confirmed they are creating a strong culture.
“Everyone’s putting in for each other and working hard to win the ball back and I think we’re onto a winning culture,” he said.