NICK Essery is enjoying a dream time on the football pitch - but it's still about mates for him.
The Goonengerry player scored a hat-trick in his Lismore Thistles under-12 side's Football FNC grand final victory over Bangalow Bluedogs.
Sunday's victory launched a busy week on the pitch for the 12-year-old, who is attending this Thursday's statewide Small Schools Knockout contest with his Blakebrook Public School side.
Although he agreed his treble strike at Lismore's Oakes Oval had made it a perfect day, Nick said he played the sport for one reason.
"Friends," he said. "That is all. I have played for this club for six years. I love it.
"All the players have got so much talent and skills. They are a really great bunch of people as well. I was so happy and excited to score (these goals). It was a great feeling."
The match was part of a packed day of action featuring grand finals in other age group divisions.
This Saturday will see the concluding matches in this season's Football FNC men's senior competitions.
The centrepiece of the action will be the men's premier division clash between Lismore Thistles and Byron Bay Rams.
Kick-off at Lismore's Oakes Oval will be at 6.30pm.
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