Senior Nicholas Coffield - Player Advocate: dct66

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St Kilda has selected Northern Knights captain Nick Coffield with pick No. 8 in Friday night’s NAB AFL Draft in Sydney.

After swooping on Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Hunter Clark at pick No. 7, the Saints used their second top 10 pick on the highly rated half-back, who is set to play as a midfielder at the highest level.

Coffield firmed as a high-end draft pick midway through the season when he was named at half-back in the All-Australian team following a standout national carnival.

The 18-year-old averaged 22 disposals at a disposal efficiency rate of 74 per cent across four games for Vic Metro.

Highly regarded for his leadership qualities, Coffield is one of the most reliable players in this year’s draft pool.

The Eltham product ran a sizzling 2.90 second 20 metre sprint at the Draft Combine in October, demonstrating his ability to fly off the mark.

Coffield was named in the Knights' best players in eight of the 16 games he played in the TAC Cup this season.

Snapshot:

Height: 190cm
Weight: 83kg
D.O.B: 23/10/1999
Club: Northern Knights/ Vic Metro
Position: Midfielder/ Half-back

 

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Friday night was a blur for Nick Coffield.

St Kilda read his name out at pick No. 8, changing the Northern Knights captain's life in an instant, before he was ushered onto the stage to shake hands with Saints Coach Alan Richardson, then backstage for photos and interviews with journalists.

It all happened very quickly.

Coffield, 18, has always wanted to be drafted and when the moment finally arrived, it was a surreal experience for the dashing defender.

“It’s all pretty surreal; it was a bit of blur hearing your name read out, going up on stage and doing the photos,” Coffield told saints.com.au at the NAB AFL Draft in Sydney.

“It’s obviously been a dream for 18 years, so for it to come true now is pretty crazy. I’m trying to just embrace this once in a lifetime moment.”

For a kid desperate to play AFL, Coffield was prepared to go anywhere to realise his dream. But to land at a Melbourne club, with a list on the rise, was a dream come true.

“Every kid goes through it and I’m just happy playing footy, so I didn’t really mind where I went. To end up at St Kilda – a club with such a bright future – is awesome,” Coffield said.

After being appointed Knights’ skipper at the start of the season, Coffield rose up draft boards around the country as the year progressed.

He was named at half-back in the under-18 All-Australian team following a stellar carnival for Vic Metro, before turning heads at the draft combine in October when the 190cm utility clocked a 2.90 second 20-metre sprint.

“At the start of the year I didn’t expect to play as well as I did, so I over exceeded my expectations. I’m really grateful to be in this position now,” he said.

As one of the more versatile players in the first-round of this year’s draft, Coffield appears set to fill holes for the Saints for a long time to come.
 

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ST KILDA draftee Nick Coffield still hadn’t quite come to grips with accepting his position in the AFL system before meeting his new teammates for the first time today.

The Northern Knights skipper was selected at pick 8 by the Saints at Friday night’s AFL National Draft in Sydney.


Nick Coffield was selected by the Saints at pick 8. Photo: Getty Images
After waiting years to get to this position, the whirlwind transition on to an AFL list was completed in mere minutes.

“It was a bit of a blur, hearing your name called out, then going up doing the photo shoots and going up on stage,” Coffield said.

“It’s obviously been a dream for 18 years, so for it come true now, it’s pretty crazy.”

The Eltham resident said it was hard to put what he felt on Friday night into words.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before,” Coffield said.

“The weeks leading up to it were pretty stressful.”

Having spoken with St Kilda “about five times” before the draft, the 191cm Coffield had a pretty good idea they would pick him, but could never be certain.

“I tried not to read too much into it with all the phantom drafts,” he said.

“But when Hunter (Clark) was taken at pick 7, my heart was beating out of my chest.

“It’s pretty humbling to be in the top 10. No one can take that off you.

“You have been recognised as top 10 for your year level. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as some of those picked on Friday night is amazing.”


Coffield is presented with his guernsey by St Kilda coach Alan Richardson after being drafted. Photo: AAP
Coffield enjoyed a superb season with the Knights in 2017, playing 18 games and averaged 21 possessions.

Predominantly featuring at halfback, he also had spells in the midfield and forward line, including a matchwinning four-goal haul in the first game of the season.

He then starred for Vic Metro through its victorious national championship campaign at halfback, averaging 22 touches a game.

St Kilda recruiting and list manager Tony Elshaug said Coffield’s versatility, speed and good disposal made him attractive to the club.

“And he may even still be growing,” Elshaug said.

“I think in a lot of ways the potential’s endless.

“To think we could pick up those two boys at the top there, as a club we couldn’t do much more.

“We had a focus on getting better with players who could complement the ones we’ve got, get a little bit more speed, a little bit more kicking, but those two boys complement each other as well.”

Coffield also had brief hopes Knights teammate Patrick Naish would join him when St Kilda selected him at pick 34.

“I was doing a radio interview at the same time the Saints had a pick and I was listening to hear who my new teammate would be and they read out Naishy’s name,” Coffield said.

“I thought, ‘forget the father-son, it’d be great to be back playing together’, but then my senses came to me and I knew there was no chance Richmond would let him come to the Saints.”



Nick Coffield captained the Northern Knights this year.
With Jack Petruccelle also picked up by West Coast, Coffield was rapt three Knights were picked in the top 38, with potentially more to follow in today’s rookie draft.

But for now he can’t wait to get started.

“I’ve been given a schedule for the next two weeks and it’s pretty flat out,” he said.

“Since we lost the (TAC Cup) final I haven’t been in a footy environment for three months, so I am looking forward to getting into a club with young players and a bright future.

“I am ecstatic and can’t wait to get in there.”

Coffield thanked everyone involved at the Knights, Vic Metro, Whitefriars College and “everyone that’s helped me along the way”.
 

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It didn’t take long for new Saint Nick Coffield to experience his first ‘pinch-yourself’ moment.

St Kilda’s second selection – pick No. 8 – in last Friday night’s NAB AFL Draft was warming up alongside reigning Trevor Barker Award winner Seb Ross and young midfield star Luke Dunstan on Monday when he realised his dream had become a reality.

“I think it hit me that I’m actually now in the AFL environment when you’re warming up alongside players like Seb Ross and Luke Dunstan who were just running around like it’s any other day and I was like, ‘Wow, this is it’,” Coffield told reporters on Tuesday.

“It was a little bit confronting, but it was awesome at the same time. It was pretty surreal.”

Coffield captained the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup this season and earned All-Australian selection at half-back following a standout national carnival for Vic Metro.

The 18-year-old has his eyes set on playing senior football in 2018 and wants to use his first summer at Linen House Centre to prove he is capable of stepping up to the level.

“I don’t want to come in and be another number; I want to prove my position to the rest of the players and try and prove like I’m not out of my depth," Coffield said.

“I’d like to think that I can contribute pretty early and get a few games in my first year, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.”

With day one out of the way, Coffield said the most difficult thing about walking into an AFL club for the first time was becoming comfortable in your new home.

“(The biggest challenge is) just trying to make yourself at home because it’s such a new environment and everyone has been in there for years now," he said.

“So just trying to be comfortable in an environment that is completely new to you, which is hard but I’m sure it will come in time.”
 

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NORTHERN
Coffield embracing AFL life

DECEMBER 17, 2017 10:00 AM
BY TARA


NICK COFFIELD AT ST KILDA TRAINING.
New St Kilda recruit Nick Coffield didn’t have to wait long to find out how tough an AFL career would be.

Taken at pick eight by the Saints in the recent draft, this year’s Northern Knights skipper was pushed to his limits in his first training session.

“I shot myself in the foot,” he admitted. “I didn’t eat or drink enough and mid-session I had a bit of a spew. Other than that, it’s been good. I’ve made sure that I’ve been preparing for sessions well now.”

While it was a tough start for the 18-year-old, he’s quickly thrown himself into the AFL life and is thoroughly enjoying it.

He said that while the workload was a little tougher than he had expected, it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.

“I’ve absolutely loved it and all the boys have been so welcoming,” he said. “I’m making the transition from being an unemployed 18-year-old to a footballer.

“Growing up, what kid doesn’t want to play AFL?”

Coffield is training four to five days a week and said he was slowly getting used to the long hours. Still living at home at Eltham adds a few more hours to the day.

He’s getting up at 5am to make it to Seaford in time, meaning a lot of early nights.

He said that once the club moved back to Moorabbin, he might look at moving out of home to cut the travel time.

Coffield is training in the midfield group, despite spending the majority of the TAC Cup season playing for the Knights at half-back.

He averaged 21 possessions for the Knights this year and averaged 22 possessions while playing for Vic Metro at the national championships.

His maturity and leadership skills were something that also stood out in his last year of junior football.

Long term, Coffield said he saw himself as a big-bodied midfielder.

As well as learning St Kilda’s game-plans, Coffield is quickly getting to know his new teammates.

“I didn’t really know anyone before coming in,” he said. “I’d met Jade Gresham through the Knights, but that’s about it.

“I’m trying to sponge off everyone … it’s about trying to get knowledge off them.

“I didn’t know what to expect at training – I’m just giving it everything.”

Coffield said his focus was on making sure he did everything he could to be the best footballer possible.

While an AFL debut next year would be a dream, it’s not something he’s thinking of just yet.

“I’ve living in the moment and trying to embrace it all,” he said. “We are in early December, and come March or April, if I’ve been stressing about when I will get a game, I would be insane.

“I can’t wait to be in the midfield and get some games. It’s every kid’s dream.”


Can’t wait for 2018 season.
 

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Before St Kilda used pick No. 7 and No. 8 on Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield, the pair produced a couple of performances that sealed the deal for the Saints' recruiters.

Nick Coffield’s opening game in last year’s national championships got the ball rolling.

The Northern Knights skipper was a highly rated prospect, but where he sat in the draft pool was unclear.


Unlike most of the best players in the pool, he’d didn’t play as a bottom-ager and he didn’t play in the under-16 carnival a year earlier, like almost all the best players.

But by the end of his first game for Vic Metro, he was well and truly in St Kilda’s sights.

“Nick really impressed us straight up in the national carnival. For him to be one of the better players on the ground in his first game at that level was very impressive,” St Kilda State Recruiting Manager Chris Liberatore told saints.com.au.

“He didn’t play in the under-16 championships; he didn’t play as a bottom-ager; he stepped straight into the under-18 championships, which is the highest level these kids can play, and he was one of the best players on the ground, which is not easy to do and is not common.”


Can’t wait for 2018 season.
 

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After following up his impressive start to the national championships with another eye-catching effort against Vic Country at Punt Road Oval, Coffield was handed the massive task of taming South Australian power forward Darcy Fogarty.

Not only did he blanket Fogarty, who would eventually be picked by Adelaide four spots after Coffield at No. 12, to just four touches, he collected 19 of his own to complement his shutdown role with some drive out of defence.

“Nick spent 80 per cent of the game on Darcy Fogarty, who at that point was rated as a top-10 player and ended up going at No. 12,” Liberatore said.

“He showed us that day that he is capable of changing his mindset when he is handed a role and he showed that he can defend really well one-on-one and sacrifice his role for the team.

“He also had 19 disposals and provided plenty of drive out of defence, which he is renowned for.”


Can’t wait for 2018 season.
 

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St Kilda draftee Nick Coffield says it will be a ‘massive honour’ to wear the red, white and black for the first time if he is picked in this Friday night’s AFLX tournament.

The highly-rated 18-year-old was selected at pick No. 8 in last November’s NAB AFL Draft, the spot after St Kilda snared another young gun in Hunter Clark.

After standing out in last Friday’s match simulation session, following an impressive maiden summer on the track, Coffield is likely to run out on Etihad Stadium this weekend.


“It would be a massive honour to don the Saints jumper for the first time,” Coffield told saints.com.au at Peninsula Grammar on Monday afternoon.

“Hopefully I can get picked and have a bit of fun with the boys in the first AFLX matches.

“AFLX is very quick. The ball zings up and back at a frenetic pace, so you’re knackered pretty quickly but you’ve just got to adapt to it pretty quick.”

Coffield, who captained the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup and earned All-Australian selection last year, admits stepping out of school and into an elite environment for the first time has been challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.

“It’s been tough and it’s been long, except we’ve got a pretty good support network with all the coaches and the players are helping us out,” he said.

“It’s obviously pretty different coming from school and then playing footy full time. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but I’m really enjoying it.”

While versatile midfielder Blake Acres has taken him under his wing since he arrived in late November, Assistant Coach Aaron Hamill has played a pivotal role in Coffield’s development to date.

“Sammy Hamill is the main one for me. He’s my duty of care coach so we watch a lot of vision and do a lot of extra touch sessions like that during the week, so he’s been massive for my development,” he said.

St Kilda will face Essendon and Hawthorn in its first taste of AFLX on Friday night, with the potential to face another opponent if they reach the Grand Final.


Can’t wait for 2018 season.
 

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Wednesday night was a ‘massive step up’ for Nick Coffield and a massive step forward for the young gun who St Kilda selected with pick No. 8 in last November’s NAB AFL Draft.

The 18-year-old was of the Saints’ shining lights in their 22-point loss to Carlton in the JLT Community Series at Ikon Park, collecting 20 disposals, five marks, five rebound 50s and four inside 50s.

“It was pretty enjoyable, but it was disappointing not to get the win,” Coffield told saints.com.au following Wednesday night’s loss to Carlton.


“It was a massive step up from the match simulation and the under-18’s last year, but I really enjoyed it.”

Coffield played across half-back for most of Wednesday night, in a position he earned All-Australian selection in last year’s under-18 championships and where he is most likely to start his time in the AFL.

“I played most of my time there last year and I think they want me to play at half-back and use my rebound and kick,” Coffield said.

“So probably that or I might move up onto a wing. But I guess just wherever the coach puts me.”

With Coffield and the player the Saints chose one pick ahead of him, Hunter Clark, set to be linked for the remainder of their careers, the former Northern Knights skipper said he wouldn’t want to share the journey with anyone else.

“Me and Hunter are pretty close and we’re about to move in with each other as well, so we get around each other a lot,” he said.

“Hunts played really well, kicked two goals and I wouldn’t rather share this experience with anyone else.”


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Armitage2Riewoldt

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Love hearing that he and Hunter are close. Taken next to each other in the draft and now moving in together. Hope they form a strong bond at the saints for a decade to come!

Thought Nick started off pretty well. Looked a bit rushed at times but that was to be expected. 20 touches in his first game shows he knows how to get the ball. We've had a number of players in the last few years who look good when they get it but just haven't been able to make the next step by racking up touches (Minch, Wright, Lonie, Curren, Dunstan until recently).

Looking forward to seeing how Coff goes this year. Reckon he's a decent chance to get a few games under his belt.
 

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Coffield must be close to being picked for round one after the two practice games where he has been one of our better players . I noticed that he doesn’t stand out as much as Hunter does but he does a lot of work especially linking up with other players and he just one of those guys who you don’t really notice until suddenly he’s up over 20 disposals.


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