Welcome back to NLL.com’s weekly feature, Where Are They Now? Every week we will be catching up with former NLL players to hear what they are up to. As always, if there is a former player you’d like to hear from, send us a tweet @NLL.
This week’s feature is on Matt Disher, 42, former goalie with the Buffalo Bandits (1999-2000), Ottawa Senators (2001-2003), Anaheim Storm (2004), Minnesota Swarm (2005-2007), Edmonton Rush (2008), Portland LumberJax (2008-2009) and again with the Rush in 2010 and 2011.
Disher was selected seventh overall in the 1999 NLL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Bandits after playing with the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the Western Lacrosse Association.
Disher ranks in the top-15 for most saves and minutes played by a goalie in NLL history with 7,475 and 4,904, respectively. In 2003, Disher was named a Second Team All-Pro.
In March of 2018, Disher was named the general manager of the Delta Islanders Jr. lacrosse club.
NLL.com: What are you up to these days?
Disher: I’ve been focusing on family. I have a daughter whose 14 years old who dances a lot.
I’ve been working a lot and started to get into lacrosse on an extracurricular basis. I play in a masters league and just started out as the general manager for the Delta Islanders Jr. lacrosse club.
NLL.com: What does that job entail?
Disher: My full-time job is an insurance property and casualty claims adjuster. It’s personal liability insurance. If there is a fire in your house they may send me to check it out and I’ll walk you through the insurance claim process.
For my general manager job, we’re about to get into the busiest time of the year. Training camp starts up this month. In the offseason it’s about two hours per week but during training camp it becomes 8-10 hours a week depending on how many training camp sessions there are.
I do mostly player acquisitions, player assessments and managing the on-field operations. I work with the team managers for game to game operations stuff.
NLL.com: Do you still play?
Disher: I play in masters leagues but I took off full time leagues this winter. This year is just tournaments only.
NLL.com: What is your most fond memory of playing in the NLL?
Disher: My fondest memory is getting to interact with the fans after the game. We had meet and greets after games and that was very neat because when I first started in the league, it was very unique in that no other professional sport was doing it. I thought that was a lot of fun that you could talk to a lot of people and talk to a lot of the fans. That’s what I think helped keep the league going.
Some of the more established teams had fan clubs so you’d know those guys more because they were at every game. That was always fun to do.
NLL.com: Do you still keep in touch with any of your teammates and if so, which one (s)?
Disher: I’m one of the most disconnected guys out there. I’m not into social media or anything like that. I see guys I played either with or against at masters lacrosse. Now that I’m involved in lacrosse as a general manager it’s getting better. On a day-to-day basis, no. I didn’t grow up with a computer right away or a smartphone. I’m a bit old school.
NLL.com: What were the fans like playing in Ottawa?
Disher: It was a good town. I wish it would have worked out better. The hardest part was that was the first time I was flying in to games all the time. There were a lot of good players on that team. I remember we had some teams that we wish would have finished better because we had some good players.
NLL.com: You think you could ever play offense or defense, or would you say all of that running isn’t for you?
Disher: I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I started out as a goalie in hockey when I was six. Then I decided I wanted to try lacrosse. For some reason I chose goalie right away. There wasn’t any reason. I could never play offense or defense after I played goalie for so long. There are some guys who do it as old timers. I never thought that there was another position I wanted to try besides goalie.
NLL.com: Who was the NHL or NLL goalie you looked up to growing up?
Disher: I’d say as a contemporary, a guy who I always liked was Dallas Eliuk. I barely knew of Dallas but once I knew him I liked the way he played. I thought I’d like to play like that, too.
NLL.com: Was there ever a time you really had to go to the bathroom during a game and if so, what did you do?
Disher: No, that never happened. Which is funny because being a goalie in lacrosse equipment, water is going everywhere else on your body. It just comes out with sweat. I never had to worry about it. Even between periods I can’t even recall a time when I had to do that. I also never wanted to get out of my wet gear.
NLL.com: Where is one place you’d love to travel to?
Disher: Good question. I like to travel everywhere, especially when you are playing lacrosse and traveling all the time. I’ve always liked Southern California. It was so nice playing in Anaheim. I love to travel to all sorts of different places. I love England and would go back there as many times as I could. Those are two places I’ve traveled to more than two times and enjoyed a lot.