There are players who, like me, played every game of the season. That's a lot of footy. And While it is a demanding game, having that nucleus of players available for so many games is one of the reasons we were able to finish second and earn two home finals.
This is an extract from the sport section of my local paper. I don't quite understand the unusual usage of the word nucleus. Is it comparing the players to a nucleus? If so, I can't see how players would be somehow a nucleus.