Nichols told TWG:
- Why he'd like to go back to Osaka for a holiday
- Where he goes when he has a day off in Sydney
- Which other sport he'd pick to be a top player in
- What the hardest thing he's had to do in life was
- About his interaction with Wanderers fans
- That teammate Scott Jamieson actually talks less on the field these days
TWG: You've been around a bit, here and overseas, with your career as a professional footballer. Have you met a lot of interesting people and made some really good friends through it?
MN: Yeah, of course. Being around football circles you definitely make some good friends. Everyone likes to give you advice about your football, but you learn to listen to the people you look up to the most and take more notice of them.
TWG: Have you had some good and bad advice?
MN: I think in the end it's up to you what you take on-board. You've got to be able to decide whether you think any piece of advice is going to be good for you or not.
TWG: In all that time you must have met a few bona fide idiots as well. Have there been a few of those?
MN: In the teams?
TWG: It could be in the teams, but just generally, in football and in life?
MN: Yeah, I guess, maybe a little bit. It just depends how you take people and I'm pretty easy-going. I'm probably more of an idiot, as far as that goes! Nah, just kidding.
TWG: What about Japan. The football didn't work out as you would have liked when you were playing there, but did you like living there?
MN: Yeah I really enjoyed it. Osaka was a great city and the people were unbelievable. The culture, the food, I really enjoyed it. It's definitely a place I'd like to go back to on a holiday.
TWG: Can you speak any Japanese?
MN: No. I started learning it, but it was a bit difficult because we had a Serbian coach and then a translator to Japanese. If I'd ended up there long-term I'd definitely be doing more to learn the language.
TWG: You're living at Concord, about halfway between the Sydney CBD and Parramatta. How do you like Sydney and what do you get up to outside of football?
MN: I really enjoy Sydney. It's like any city, it takes time to get used to it and I probably didn't realise how spread out it was, but I enjoy it and if you could have the best of both worlds I'd prefer to be closer to the ocean than where I am, but I do duck down there on my day off. I've got a few friends that live near the beach. I just take it easy in my spare time, go to the beach and hang out.
TWG: Do you run into Wanderers supporters much around town, in the cafes or on the street or whatever?
MN: Yeah, definitely out where I live and out near training and that. I knew the Wanderers had great support, but it's probably even more than I realised. There are a lot of people around who wish you well. The Sydney FC fans can give you a bit of stick, but it's all fun and games.
TWG: What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your life?
MN: The hardest thing I've had to do in my life . . . In football or in anything?
TWG: It can be in football, but whatever.
MN: Probably the pre-season in Japan.
TWG: What, even tougher than at the Wanderers?
MN: It's more spread out here. In Osaka it was compacted into about four weeks of training. We were doing double sessions every day for about a month. I didn't like training at the best of times and that was definitely the toughest thing.
TWG: You might not necessarily like training, but you've clearly come to realise what the value of it is to you. You were looking for that at the Wanderers, weren't you?
MN: Yeah, I knew what I was getting myself into, but I wanted to have that structure. 'Popa' (Tony Popovic) pushes you hard and that was a big reason I came here.
TWG: If you could put the A-League on hold right now for two weeks, where would you go for a holiday?
MN: Where would I go . . . I do like America. It's winter there at the moment, but I'd still probably go to America.
TWG: Are you the type who would like to go to the Super Bowl?
MN: Yeah, I was actually talking to 'Rocket' (Liam Reddy) the other day and I think he's been before. I watch a lot of NFL and it's something that I'd like to go to.
TWG: If you could transform yourself into a top player in a different sport, what sport would it be?
MN: Golf. I like playing golf. I'm a hacker, definitely a hacker. We played a lot in Perth - myself and Scott Jamieson and Rostyn Griffiths - and I was the hacker of the group.
TWG: Could you see yourself playing at the US Masters, if you were able to wave a magic wand and transform yourself?
MN: Yeah, definitely, if I could transform myself!
TWG: You mentioned Scottie Jamieson. Can you believe how much talking he does on the field, to referees, rival players or whoever?
MN: Yeah, I played with him last year at Perth and I think he's actually a bit quieter on the field now. He definitely talks more off the field these days.
TWG: He's always trying to talk the referees around with a smiling face and friendly advice. Does he ever get anywhere with them?
MN: No, he doesn't. He just enjoys a bit of banter. Sometimes people take that the wrong way, but he's just enjoying his football.