Life after Rugby League for Jason Nightingale
For so long throughout his playing career in the NRL – Jason Nightingale was known as one of the nice guys of the game – but after deciding to hang the boots up at the end of last season he’s now embarking on a new challenge.
The former St George Illawarra outside back is running his own business ‘Flow Espresso’ in Dragons homeland – Kogarah.
It’s clear Nightingale will always breathe red and white with the 32-year-old also working in the corporate sector for the club.
Nightingale studied a Business degree at the University of Wollongong and says he’s always had an interest in small businesses.
“I’ve always had a passion for small businesses,” Nightingale said.
“I’m sort of learning from ‘my captain’ who’s running the place for me.
“I’ve got mates that have had cafes for years, my best mate has three small businesses down in the Shire, we’re sort of following that journey.
“But now learning it in practicality, I’ve done little bits here and there.
“It’s been awesome to be in there learning at the same time as running it.
“The support from the area obviously helps being in Kogarah – has been great – it’s on me now to provide good quality caffeine for the people of St George.”
Nightingale will go down as an elite winger of the NRL after racking up 265 games for the Red V and notching 100 tries – including a double when St George Illawarra broke their premiership drought in 2010 against the Roosters.
He also played 33 Tests for his beloved Kiwis including playing in two Four Nations victories where New Zealand Australia twice in a row in 2010 and 2014.
But after debuting in 2006 for the Dragons, Nightingale said the club’s premiership victory under Wayne Bennett was one of the highlights of his career.
“It was built off our 2008 (and) last season with Nathan Brown,” Nightingale said.
“We got to the finals and were knocked out by the eventual premiers in week one of the finals Manly, but it built a pretty good stepping stone.
“We had a pretty good squad going into 2009 and we finished with the minor premiership and got our pants pulled down by Parramatta and I think that taught us a lesson and probably allowed us to be a bit more resilient in 2010.
“It was really a culmination of 2008, 2009 and I think by the time we got to 2010 and believed in ourselves and probably looked at each other and said we deserve this.”
Nightingale’s business Flow Espresso is open in Kogarah Monday to Friday.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.