Player Watch #1: Majak Daw [Part II] - torn pec in gym - no surgery needed - hopes to be back playing in three weeks

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Gumble Frankieton

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Jul 3, 2007
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The North
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Majak's footy story could be used as a case study to show the extreme swings and roundabouts possible in a footy career. From a very raw but athletic young bloke through to a promising but frustrating in-betweener (too good for VFL, maybe not quite AFL material) who had struggles with injury, running out games, reading the play and consistency. At the same time here was a bloke who was capable of moments of brilliance that could bring the crowd to their feet, perhaps it was this ability that also shone a light on the deficiencies in his game.
By the end of 2017 I had him down as a likely addition to the list of players with obvious potential that for whatever combination of reasons never quite made it. Likely to be used as a back-up option if injuries struck the seniors. Then came the move to the backline. An interesting idea, but would he get exposed positionally and could he run out games? And then as the games went on his confidence grew, running out games seemed to be less of a problem and he wasn't being exposed positionally as he was at times when playing up forward. Clearly having blokes like Tarrant and Thompson made the transition easier.
As the 2018 season went on you could clearly see in games that the opposition were very aware of what he could do. It was a bit of a weird thing to see a bloke on probably his last chance playing his first games as a defender and the opponents were having to come up with ways of dealing with him. In some ways it's a pity that Thompson wasn't a few years younger as a defensive triumvirate of Tarrant-Daw-Thompson would of been great to see develop over time.
I really hope he can get back to form and fitness but who really knows what's going to happen. What I do know is that Majak is one of the players that actually lifts a crowd, a player that when he's about to get involved in the play you can sense the crowd grow in anticipation. Players chipping the ball sideways and backwards under little pressure bores the arse off me. Majak certainly doesn't.
 

DesertRoo

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2013
6,381
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Majak's footy story could be used as a case study to show the extreme swings and roundabouts possible in a footy career. From a very raw but athletic young bloke through to a promising but frustrating in-betweener (too good for VFL, maybe not quite AFL material) who had struggles with injury, running out games, reading the play and consistency. At the same time here was a bloke who was capable of moments of brilliance that could bring the crowd to their feet, perhaps it was this ability that also shone a light on the deficiencies in his game.
By the end of 2017 I had him down as a likely addition to the list of players with obvious potential that for whatever combination of reasons never quite made it. Likely to be used as a back-up option if injuries struck the seniors. Then came the move to the backline. An interesting idea, but would he get exposed positionally and could he run out games? And then as the games went on his confidence grew, running out games seemed to be less of a problem and he wasn't being exposed positionally as he was at times when playing up forward. Clearly having blokes like Tarrant and Thompson made the transition easier.
As the 2018 season went on you could clearly see in games that the opposition were very aware of what he could do. It was a bit of a weird thing to see a bloke on probably his last chance playing his first games as a defender and the opponents were having to come up with ways of dealing with him. In some ways it's a pity that Thompson wasn't a few years younger as a defensive triumvirate of Tarrant-Daw-Thompson would of been great to see develop over time.
I really hope he can get back to form and fitness but who really knows what's going to happen. What I do know is that Majak is one of the players that actually lifts a crowd, a player that when he's about to get involved in the play you can sense the crowd grow in anticipation. Players chipping the ball sideways and backwards under little pressure bores the arse off me. Majak certainly doesn't.
He’s the epitome of the Brad Scott era. Pigeoned holed into a position, when there was an incumbent in his place.
Spent years learning his craft as that ruck forward, even when there was quiet a few fans screaming for him to be changed position, in a place we were lacking.

When he finally changed positions and shone, we’ll never know if it was the long apprenticeship, luck or just simply placed he was in wrong position to start with and wasted half his career playing vfl.
 
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ferball

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Jul 24, 2015
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Not every player can play that peel off role and average in the top 3 for intercept and contested marks either.

Tarrant, as good as he is, wouldn't be as effective in the role as Majak as an example.


We played Lachie Hansen in the same role for a number of years and I think Majak's 2018 was better than anything Lachie produced.

McGovern is considered the best defender in the game at the moment and he plays the same role for WC.

I think you are underselling it's importance and how hard it is to find someone genuinely good at that role.

It's not a seagull HBF type role....
Yeah.

For example...

If Duck had played that role exclusively he'd have changed footy and the intercepting, attacking CHB would be the most important player in the game and teams would be built around them. The game would look different.

Maj is no Duck, (maybe if he'd grown up here playing the game from a young age, was a harder nut and had good coaching/mentor ship ala Pagan that could have brought the good player out of him simply cos he is an athletic freak and pretty strong when he wants to be.)

But if he'd been playing that role since 2015/16 he'd be a superstar of the comp right now (based on that ones season obviously but it's what we should have done it years ago.)

He is fast enough and can leap high and long enough that he could patrol the entire backline and potentially dominate it. He could potentially have broken footy as a game if he was committed to it, because he would have been unpassable.

Still, two years of him playing that role to the best of his ability and with total commitment in the future would go a long way to cementing us in the top 4.
 

Pykie

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Sep 17, 2006
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Yeah.

For example...

If Duck had played that role exclusively he'd have changed footy and the intercepting, attacking CHB would be the most important player in the game and teams would be built around them. The game would look different.

Maj is no Duck, (maybe if he'd grown up here playing the game from a young age, was a harder nut and had good coaching/mentor ship ala Pagan that could have brought the good player out of him simply cos he is an athletic freak and pretty strong when he wants to be.)

But if he'd been playing that role since 2015/16 he'd be a superstar of the comp right now (based on that ones season obviously but it's what we should have done it years ago.)

He is fast enough and can leap high and long enough that he could patrol the entire backline and potentially dominate it. He could potentially have broken footy as a game if he was committed to it, because he would have been unpassable.

Still, two years of him playing that role to the best of his ability and with total commitment in the future would go a long way to cementing us in the top 4.
At this stage, I'd just like to see him hit 100 games given the journey and the amount of investment the club has pumped into him.

I've got this nagging feeling we are going to have a Phil Kelly situation, where the bloke was on the list for 10+ years (not quite the case with Phil), but due to injuries never reaches the 100 games F/S qualification.

His kids will qualify for NGA acadamies (St Kilda or Collingwoods) given where Majak was born and I'm close friends with some members of his other halves family, they are a big footy family in the Mornington Penn. footy league. His kids will be ingrained in footy from an early age and will have all the athletic ability that Maj posses'.

He still needs to play a whole 2-2.5 seasons of footy to reach it, definitely no guarantee.
 

shinboner magic

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At this stage, I'd just like to see him hit 100 games given the journey and the amount of investment the club has pumped into him.

I've got this nagging feeling we are going to have a Phil Kelly situation, where the bloke was on the list for 10+ years (not quite the case with Phil), but due to injuries never reaches the 100 games F/S qualification.

His kids will qualify for NGA acadamies (St Kilda or Collingwoods) given where Majak was born and I'm close friends with some members of his other halves family, they are a big footy family in the Mornington Penn. footy league. His kids will be ingrained in footy from an early age and will have all the athletic ability that Maj posses'.

He still needs to play a whole 2-2.5 seasons of footy to reach it, definitely no guarantee.
Guess we better give him a job in tassie if he doesn’t get to 100 games
 

Snake_Baker

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It's not a seagull HBF type role....
I never stated it was, but he's no number one KPF defender either.

The fact that people need to continually regurgitate a half season purple patch stat is telling. A Champion Data stat.

I get the emotional attachment with Maj, but it also embellishes the facts regarding his overall career at this point.
 

shintemaster

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He's a bloody genetic anomaly with how his body repairs itself, rarely seen other cases like it.
I have an ex colleague / friend that has similar issues. His blood has some... unique properties that allow him to heal very quickly. It's interesting enough that they've taken samples from him in an effort to analyse it. He's had some serious injuries over the years (motorcycling) and he recovers very quickly. I've started nicknaming him Wolverine.
 

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TennisPlayerAndy

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I have an ex colleague / friend that has similar issues. His blood has some... unique properties that allow him to heal very quickly. It's interesting enough that they've taken samples from him in an effort to analyse it. He's had some serious injuries over the years (motorcycling) and he recovers very quickly. I've started nicknaming him Wolverine.
Was he on *’s list circa 2011-12?
 

The acurate one

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Jan 23, 2019
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Any word on how much he played in the weekend. Do we rush him back or give him one more game of fitness
Hi ya John, well t's your lucky day, I just had a chat regarding Maj. He got through the game very well. But was... "blowin like the north wind".

So I suppose he's a few weeks off, but that's just my thoughts. Good news though.
 

SonofSamsquanch

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Mar 31, 2016
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Hi ya John, well t's your lucky day, I just had a chat regarding Maj. He got through the game very well. But was... "blowin like the north wind".

So I suppose he's a few weeks off, but that's just my thoughts. Good news though.
A couple of weeks on the track instead of pumping weights might be the best thing for Maj now anyway. I'm sure he won't waste away if he's running laps and sprints. I just want to see some of those big marks, horrendously back-breaking tackles, a well place fend-off or two and a few launces from the wing that land right into the extended reach of Big Ben Brown.
 

nelroo

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Aug 8, 2004
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A couple of weeks on the track instead of pumping weights might be the best thing for Maj now anyway. I'm sure he won't waste away if he's running laps and sprints. I just want to see some of those big marks, horrendously back-breaking tackles, a well place fend-off or two and a few launces from the wing that land right into the extended reach of Big Ben Brown.
So you are pretty much keeping expectations low key then for the returning big fella! 🤣
 

SonofSamsquanch

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So you are pretty much keeping expectations low key then for the returning big fella! 🤣
I said "a few launches on to Benny's head". Six or seven is enough for his comeback game. I do want to see him sit some joker flat on his arse though in a monster tackle.

That's not expecting too much is it?




Serouly though, I've wanted to see Maj on the field since the very early days of his career and I don't want to let go of that hope for his return.
 

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