Kinlochshiel full centre Donald Nixon’s competitive shinty action began at the tender age of 12 on a trip to Fort William.
The 28-year-old Mowi Premiership player takes us through some of the thrills and spills of being involved in the sport in out latest Shinty Spotlight.
What is your earliest shinty memory?
My very earliest memories of shinty are playing in Auchtertyre Hall with Doe Macrae and JD Mackenzie teaching us, then going over to Plockton Hall to compete in tournaments.
Who was your senior debut against and can you recall the result?
My first senior game for the second team was when I was 12 and it was away to Fort William. It was not a very flattering scoreline – I think we lost 12-1.
My first-team debut was when I was about 16 at home to Strathglass. I am pretty sure we won 3-1. It was one of the last games we played before being promoted to the Premier League that year.
What is your best moment in the sport so far?
That’s a tough question. We had some really great moments over the years.
I don’t think I can separate the Camanachd Cup win in 2021 (a 3-1 victory against Lovat), or the Premier League title win in 2017. Both were very special days.
And the worst?
Probably losing the MacTavish Cup final 2-1 against Newtonmore in 2018. Although we put in a strong performance, it was a tough loss to take.
What is the worst injury you have suffered in shinty?
I broke my thumb in a North vs South under-21s game in 2014 and now have a titanium plate it in.
Who is the joker in your team?
It’s got to be John MacRae. Every team has got one and John is ours.
He’s always up to no good and you just never know what’s going to come out of his mouth next.
What is your favourite away ground and why?
I’ve always liked going to Inveraray. It’s a great day out with the boys. Always a tough game, but they are a great group of lads.
The pub is always full after the match and you enjoy the bus journey home with your mates.
Who is the rival player you would love to have in your team and why?
Probably Newtonmore’s Norman Campbell. At times, he was just impossible to play against. He’s strong, fast, and a good tackler and hitter.
You would play the ball up front and he would win it and put it straight back into the Newtonmore forward line.
What is the favourite goal scored by you or a team-mate?
Keith MacRae’s goal late on in the Camanachd Cup final, making it 3-1 with only seconds to go – we knew that the cup was coming home with us.
Describe shinty in three words?
Committed, community, and brilliant.