Nic Nat visit inspires local team in Israel

INJURED West Coast star Nic Naitanui worked closely with his fellow ruckmen leading up to the Eagles’ premiership and his coaching journey has now taken a more exotic turn, this time to Israel.

Naitanui spent Monday night on a bumpy soccer field, conducting training for the Tel Aviv Cheetahs, who play in the AFL Europe competition.

Naitanui is in Israel on holiday, and has spent the week travelling through all parts of the country, from the Galilee region in the north, down to Beersheva and the Dead Sea in the south.

The 28-year-old has also spent time in Jerusalem and has crossed the border into Palestine, visiting Bethlehem and other holy sites and judging from his Instagram feed, he is having a blast.

“Growing up with a pretty strong Christian faith with my family … and to be able to come and walk in his footsteps … it was a pretty awesome experience,” he told The Four Hoarsemen podcast from Tel Aviv.

He was mobbed at the Cheetahs’ training session, with more than 50 players attending, drawn from the ranks of Australian expatriates as well as students on exchange programs and on gap years.

Club captain Shir Shalev said he and his teammates would long remember Naitanui’s visit.

Read the story by Will Taylor and Ashley Browne on the AFL website.