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Nick Dalziel is the Forrest Gump of the Tainui hockey team – he just never stops running. The star forward looks ahead to the new season with Hayden Meikle.

Q: How old are you, Nick?
I’m 26.

Q: How many seasons and how many games have you played for Tainui?
Oooh, no idea on how many games. Seasons, um, I’ve been back in Oamaru since about 2012. So this will be my fifth or sixth season.

Q: What other hockey experience have you got?
I played premier club hockey down in Dunedin for four years. I was with Kings United. It’s probably a bit stronger than the South Canterbury competition. It’s certainly quite a bit faster, so you had to be a lot fitter, and I guess skill levels are a wee bit higher down in Dunedin. But Timaru is more physical. I find that quite enjoyable.

Q: Did you ever have ambitions of playing at a higher level in Dunedin?
No, not really. I never really thought about the next step. I enjoyed my hockey down there but I think I would get bored of the sport if I was taking it too seriously. I love going out for a run around, blowing off a bit of steam and having some fun. I don’t think I’d want to go any further.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
Definitely winning the Ian Smith Trophy a couple of years ago.  That was pretty cool, especially for the older guys who had been around a long time. It was really special for them.

Q: Tainui had a good team last year but could not win that elusive South Canterbury title. Could this be Tainui’s year?
Yeah, I don’t know at this stage. It’s hard to know how the other teams are shaping up. There are a couple of new teams in the competition. We’ve had a good start to the season. We went down to Toast Cup in Dunedin. We didn’t win any games but we came quite close and competed really well.

Q: How do you enjoy playing with your younger brother, Josh? Do you tell him what to do?
No, it’s probably the other way round now. I just do as I’m told and run around.  We played for Kings for a couple of years together, but before that, we were generally in different teams. We play a bit of tennis together now too.

Q: Your coach tells me one of your major attributes is your perpetual energy. Does that sound accurate?
Yeah, my ball skills probably aren’t the key aspect of my game. I sort of play quite uncontrolled hockey, I guess. I suppose I do a bit of running around, and you always seem to be in the middle of it.

Q: What’s your day job?
I’ve actually just changed careers. I’m a builder now. I was working in the survey/design area, doing farm planning and stuff. But I gave that away eight or nine months ago and started a building apprenticeship. I’m working for Roger Gilchrist up at the retirement village. It’s pretty amazing to see the scale of the project up close. I’m learning heaps.