List Mgmt. Nick Daicos

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Jen2310

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A week out from the draft, the youngest member of the Daicos family said he was eager to officially join the club.

"I feel prepared and I'm ready to hit the ground running," he said.

"I want to earn the respect of my teammates and the coaching staff - I want to be known as a hard worker.

"Collingwood has a rich history and I have the family history too. I've grown up loving the club so I can't wait.


"I'm not focusing too much on outside pressure.

"I just want to live up to my own expectations and reach the goals I set for myself."

 

Copeland

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You might be younger than me, as pub violence seems less common than it used to be. I hope my comment does become absurd, but there were some places (often where footballers of all levels drank) where you were odds on to see a punch thrown at some stage of the night.
Yeah I agree with the pub violence. Could it be the life bans they get now whereas back in my day it was a ban for a week or two.
 

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Jen2310

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It was the question Collingwood legend Peter Daicos knew he would have to ask his youngest son Nick at some stage.
Earlier this year, against the backdrop of the Magpies freefalling on the field and with the father-son prospect rocketing up the draft charts, Peter had to ask Nick how he was coping with the almost unprecedented media attention and expectation.

“His mum (Colleen) and I don’t like that side of it,” Peter, 60, explained.

“We were always a bit concerned with the amount of publicity. There has been a hell of a lot, but hopefully people understand it is not Nick’s doing, and it is not our doing.


“I’ve asked him if he is OK with it. His answer has always been the same: ‘Dad, It’s all good’.”

On Wednesday night, Nick Daicos will officially become a Collingwood footballer, even if it seems as if his journey to the Holden Centre has seemingly been signposted for years.

He had a brief flirtation with Carlton as a kid, but his heart has long belonged to the Magpies, and he has already signed a four-year deal without playing a game.

Nick, 18, is joining the club where father Peter was one of Collingwood’s favourite sons across 250 games and 549 goals, and where brother Josh – older by five years but almost inseparable as a sibling and best mate – is carving out his own career.


Any son of a club legend is always going to face the glare of attention, which his brother would attest to.

But while Josh has turned himself into a player of substance in a steady progression, he was taken at pick 57 as a father-son selection five years ago.

The hype and supporter spotlight surrounding Nick – who is likely to be selected at pick four but could easily have been higher – is something else entirely.

That hasn’t always sat comfortably with his parents, who prefer things to be more measured.

“Whether you are the No. 50 pick or the No. 1 pick, everyone is expecting you to play and to come out and turn it on,” Peter said.

“There is this pressure now, and there will be pressure when he plays, but he is going to have his ‘L’ plates on for a while. For how long, we don’t know, and that can be dependent on how Craig (McRae) and the coaching crew use him.

“It is important he is managed a bit and we are pretty confident that is going to happen.”

Nick has shone in the spotlight, even thrived in it.

He has been honest enough to say he wanted clubs to bid on him as high as possible, even though he knew he was going to Collingwood.

He has been bold enough to suggest he wants to strive for multiple flags in black and white – his father famously won one in 1990.

He has embraced the hype, but never been in thrall to it, with his upbringing from his parents and his connection to Josh and older sister Maddie keeping him level.

Family keeps him grounded with Peter joking the boys continue living at home because “they get cheap rent at home … the best commercial decision they have made.”

BELIEF
Oakleigh Chargers and Vic Metro coach Jason Davenport – who saw another father-son of a legend pave his own path in Gary Ablett Jr – says Nick balances confidence and inner belief with a desire to always do what is best for the team.

“To have the word confidence attached to someone of that age, people can often misinterpret that in the wrong way,” Davenport said.

“There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Nick has a level of confidence that is required. That is going to put him in good stead to succeed at the next level for a long period of time.

“But that is not arrogance. There is nothing wrong with being good at something and being OK with it.”

Davenport said Daicos was able to compartmentalise the external stuff going on around him from his elite preparation to training and matches.

“We take for granted he is just an 18-year-old taking all of this in, being a father-son player at one of the big four clubs, from one of the greatest players,” he said.

“He just takes it in his stride and keeps performing.

“He has had as much media as anyone I can remember (before a draft) and he takes that in his stride. Then he was jumping up conservatively into the top two or three or four players (in the draft) and he took that in his stride.

“I wouldn’t have handled that at 18, and I am not sure many would.”

PARENTAL GUIDANCE
Peter Daicos never left anything to change.

While he never wanted to push his children towards football, he was more than happy to leave some well-placed hints around.

He would leave strategically placed footballs around the family home.

His sons took the balls and quite literally ran with them.

Like Peter had done in his parents’ lounge room in their North Fitzroy house a generation earlier, with a pair of rolled-up socks, a toilet roll or an empty plastic ‘hand grenade’ cordial container, he encouraged his sons to get their hands on a footy early – and often.

“I always left them (footballs) lying around; there was a bit of a design to it,” he said. “We always used oversized balls and they didn’t get that for a long time.

“I always felt that the kids would bring themselves up to the level eventually.”

He knew if he could foster an interest in footy it might one day lead them to Collingwood.


“When each of our kids were born, it was like ‘Here is a little Magpie’,” he said. “You would say, ‘It would be great one day if they could play for Collingwood’, but their personalities or interests hadn’t been formed then.”

Daicos routinely took his children to random AFL home and away matches – many not featuring Collingwood – and squeezed them into Grand Finals (Nick often sitting on his Dad’s lap).

“He (Nick) just loved his footy,” he said. “I took him to every game and any game.”

“As a part of playing 200 games, I get two free tickets and he would constantly hound me, ‘let’s go Dad, let’s go and see the Bulldogs and Melbourne, let’s go and see St Kilda and whoever’.

“He would almost drag me out the door.”

YOUNG NICK
As the youngest of three, Nick always played out of his age bracket at home, in the parks and on the field.

“He always followed Josh around … it’s fair to say him and Josh have almost been joined at the hip … they are best mates,” Peter said.

“When he would go to the park with the older kids, he would get bowled over, but he would dust himself off and get back into it again.”

When Peter coached a junior side consisting of some of Maddie’s friends, Nick was his little shadow.

“In one game, as the story goes, I wasn’t happy with something one of the players did. I said to (an assistant) ‘We have got to do something about that’.

“Well, as soon as the siren went, Nick ran out and went up to the kid and said: ‘Dad is not happy with you, he wants you to do this’.”

Nick played out of his age bracket in junior football, yet still excelled, craving the competition and challenges.

The boys habitually wanted to go to the park for a kick with their Dad on most days, but Peter stressed the need to still do it on rainy days.

“I kept saying, if you can do it in the wet and do it, it’s a real bonus,” he said.

“Temperament is so important and both boys have got that.

“I always hear Nick say now: ‘Dad doesn’t push us’. Well, I’ve never really had to.

“Sure, there are times when if I think they have let up a bit, I will just say ‘I saw your mate running down the road’ – which wasn’t true – and they get straight out of bed and go for a run.”


HARD WORK
Davenport says one thing shouldn’t be lost in the narrative of Nick Daicos’ silky skills – he works bloody hard.

“He is one of those players who would often do things with all due respect that the other 35 players on the ground couldn’t,” he said.

“But you can’t just attach that to genetics. He practices his craft religiously and he applies himself week to week to perform. I don’t want (his work ethic) to be lost in this.

“He is a special player, but has worked his tail off from a young age.”

Davenport said Daicos’ ability to gut-run his way out of contests “is why I have so much confidence he will have a long (AFL) career.”

“He has still got to learn when it comes to patterns and what system Craig McRae wants to implement at Collingwood. But his ability to mentally push himself is what I most admire.”

No. 35
One of Collingwood’s most famous guernsey numbers and it’s about to get a one-season renaissance.

Peter Daicos wore No. 35 in his 250 matches, and it was reproduced on so many jumpers and duffle coats that the numbers 3 and 5 were often out of stock.

Since Simon Prestigiacomo retired in late 2010, the Magpies have handed out the No. 35 to the club’s first year draft selection to wear for a year.

They offered to make an exception for Josh when he was picked up in 2016, but he knocked it back, preferring to start his own journey.

Nick has already agreed to wear it for at least one year.

“I am not sentimental in that way,” Peter said. “But to see No. 35 running around, it will give me a bit of a buzz to see him in it, but it would’ve been the same if it was 59, or 1 or whatever.

“But I know his Mum is pretty pleased with it.”

YEAR ONE
Nick Daicos will walk into a different organisation than the one his brother did for the first time five years ago

The Magpies have a new coach and coaching staff, a renewed emphasis on development and a young list trying to build something special.

That is an exciting prospect for the Daicos brothers, and their family, including Peter’s parents Stan and Phyllis who came to Australia from a small village in Macedonia.

“Everyone is naturally very happy,” Peter said.

“When Josh was drafted, the scenarios were a bit different. We knew Josh had interest from

Collingwood, and there was interest from a few other clubs, With the run-in to the draft with Nick, we know where he is going.

”I am rapt he is going into a group of kids (at Collingwood) that are hopefully going to take the club forward.

“I’m only looking for afar now, but I think Oliver Henry is going to be a gun. I hear lots of good things about Liam McMahon. Then, there is Beau McCreery, Caleb Poulter and Fin Macrae coming through.

“I would be surprised if there wasn’t some good improvement.”

Whatever happens, Davenport says Collingwood fans have every reason to be excited.


“We have to remember he is an 18-year-old (he turns 19 in January) who is going to be stepping into a midfield or playing against smaller defenders who have been in the system for six or seven years.”

“But what you are going to see at the very least is glimpses into his talent and that will be exciting for not just Collingwood supporters, it will be exciting for the football public.”
 

Jen2310

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I must say a great read,
Very fair and balanced.
Lets hope Nick develops at his own pace.
And not be seen as the savior to the CFC
Yeah it was great. Loved how Peter even pointed out some of our younsters he was excited about too.

I think once the draft is over, the attention will die down (until he debuts lol) and he'll just be another player. The media will turn their attention to the pre-season of clubs.
 

magpies42

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Probably a contrary opinion, I feel he’s pumping up his own tires too much. I get that most plays will think that way, and he’s saying what he thinks…it is refreshing however he is healing expectation on himself and even more pressure. He’s already the son of a great, highly regarded…expectations will be sky high, don’t make it worse.

If I was an opposition player, I’d be looking at him as smug little so and so and id make sure he earns his stripes. Look what we did to Jack Watts, guy never recovered.
 

Seedsfan

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Probably a contrary opinion, I feel he’s pumping up his own tires too much. I get that most plays will think that way, and he’s saying what he thinks…it is refreshing however he is healing expectation on himself and even more pressure. He’s already the son of a great, highly regarded…expectations will be sky high, don’t make it worse.

If I was an opposition player, I’d be looking at him as smug little so and so and id make sure he earns his stripes. Look what we did to Jack Watts, guy never recovered.
As sad as it is the days of belting the young kid are done.
 

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Jen2310

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This quote makes me feel they'll take their time with him.

“There is this pressure now, and there will be pressure when he plays, but he is going to have his ‘L’ plates on for a while. For how long, we don’t know, and that can be dependent on how Craig (McRae) and the coaching crew use him.

“It is important he is managed a bit and we are pretty confident that is going to happen.”
 

jonbe54

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This quote makes me feel they'll take their time with him.

“There is this pressure now, and there will be pressure when he plays, but he is going to have his ‘L’ plates on for a while. For how long, we don’t know, and that can be dependent on how Craig (McRae) and the coaching crew use him.

“It is important he is managed a bit and we are pretty confident that is going to happen.”
It really doesn't matter if they ease him in over a few rounds, he has basically missed the last 2 seasons with match conditioning and that can certainly take the edge off skills, awareness etc.
 
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Scodog10

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Probably a contrary opinion, I feel he’s pumping up his own tires too much. I get that most plays will think that way, and he’s saying what he thinks…it is refreshing however he is healing expectation on himself and even more pressure. He’s already the son of a great, highly regarded…expectations will be sky high, don’t make it worse.

If I was an opposition player, I’d be looking at him as smug little so and so and id make sure he earns his stripes. Look what we did to Jack Watts, guy never recovered.
TBH I’m a little over it myself.

He’s signed a contract to play for Collingwood for the next four years and he’s talking about being upset that GWS didn’t speak to him. It’s alright to be upset, but use it as motivation don’t tell the world. That one’s easily deflected by saying “there’s a lot of talented guys in the pool so for them not to speak to me says more for their quality than anything else” because for all Daicos knows they didn’t speak to him because Collingwood and GWS have a nudge nudge wink wink relationship on the bid. His management need to take some responsibility for that comment because surely he’s had enough media training to know that’s not what Collingwood fans want him saying.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all in on him talent wise he’s the best in the draft, but I haven’t enjoyed him doing the rounds of late and the humility that he’s been said to have has been lacking, IMO.

Does he play round 1?
Yes, he’ll walk out in Rd 1 as one of our best 10-15 players. I think it gets lost in the wash a bit because he’s only now draft eligible, but if he were a week older he’d probably have 15-20 AFL matches under his belt and in 2021 he was a professional footballer after graduating school in 2020.
 
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Jafo

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TBH I’m a little over it myself.

He’s signed a contract to play for Collingwood for the next four years and he’s talking about being upset that GWS didn’t speak to him. It’s alright to be upset, but use it as motivation don’t tell the world. That one’s easily deflected by saying “there’s a lot of talented guys in the pool so for them not to speak to me says more for their quality than anything else” because for all Daicos knows they didn’t speak to him because Collingwood and GWS have a nudge nudge wink wink relationship on the bid. His management need to take some responsibility for that comment because surely he’s had enough media training to know that’s not what Collingwood fans want him saying.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all in on him talent wise he’s the best in the draft, but I haven’t enjoyed him doing the rounds of late and the humility that he’s been said to have has been lacking, IMO.



Yes, he’ll walk out in Rd 1 as one of our best 10-15 players. I think it gets lost in the wash a bit because he’s only now draft eligible, but if he were a week older he’d probably have 15-20 AFL matches under his belt and in 2021 he was a professional footballer after graduating school in 2020.
Maybe a blessing in disguise that he’s a week younger after the train wreck that happened last year before draft day.
 

60 Yards Out

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TBH I’m a little over it myself.

He’s signed a contract to play for Collingwood for the next four years and he’s talking about being upset that GWS didn’t speak to him. It’s alright to be upset, but use it as motivation don’t tell the world. That one’s easily deflected by saying “there’s a lot of talented guys in the pool so for them not to speak to me says more for their quality than anything else” because for all Daicos knows they didn’t speak to him because Collingwood and GWS have a nudge nudge wink wink relationship on the bid. His management need to take some responsibility for that comment because surely he’s had enough media training to know that’s not what Collingwood fans want him saying.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all in on him talent wise he’s the best in the draft, but I haven’t enjoyed him doing the rounds of late and the humility that he’s been said to have has been lacking, IMO.



Yes, he’ll walk out in Rd 1 as one of our best 10-15 players. I think it gets lost in the wash a bit because he’s only now draft eligible, but if he were a week older he’d probably have 15-20 AFL matches under his belt and in 2021 he was a professional footballer after graduating school in 2020.
I’ve got a similar view. On the positive side, his faux pas over GWS provides a perfect opportunity for some wise head in the club to take him aside for a little chat about (1) knowing when to pull his head in and (2) letting his footy do the talking. Handled the right way it becomes part of his education. No doubt he’ll have a mentor going forward.
 

Seedsfan

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I’ve got a similar view. On the positive side, his faux pas over GWS provides a perfect opportunity for some wise head in the club to take him aside for a little chat about (1) knowing when to pull his head in and (2) letting his footy do the talking. Handled the right way it becomes part of his education. No doubt he’ll have a mentor going forward.
Lol he did absolutely nothing wrong, he has done the work to be taken high and he deserves to go at a high pick. You want players to speak freely around the media and not be walking on eggshells
 

60 Yards Out

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Lol he did absolutely nothing wrong, he has done the work to be taken high and he deserves to go at a high pick. You want players to speak freely around the media and not be walking on eggshells
More than that, you want them to have the skills and support they need. He’s a kid and he’s going to be under a lot of pressure. The media is just part of the equation.
 

Horaceg

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I look at the Sam Walsh comparison, played round 1 and just kept getting better.

He seems ready to me and the comment about GWS shows he has a point to prove. He’s grown up with this expectation since he was a kid, I back him to just get on with it.

Two Daicos' and the Master in the stands, a lot to look forward to IMHO.
 
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Rusty Beam

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It really doesn't matter if they ease him in over a few rounds, he has basically missed the last 2 seasons with match conditioning and that can certainly take the edge off skills, awareness etc.
That’s the amazing thing about his performances. To be playing so well with so little exposure shows sublime innate talent and skill. Other than the name and murmurings about his school footy he was still a bit of an unknown coming into this year.

To be honest most the Vic kids are similar.

Despite their lack of exposure over the last 2 years, I’ve got little doubt that either state team would still have smacked both the WA and SA rep teams on exposed form/talent.
 

jonbe54

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That’s the amazing thing about his performances. To be playing so well with so little exposure shows sublime innate talent and skill. Other than the name and murmurings about his school footy he was still a bit of an unknown coming into this year.

To be honest most the Vic kids are similar.

Despite their lack of exposure over the last 2 years, I’ve got little doubt that either state team would still have smacked both the WA and SA rep teams on exposed form/talent.
There's little doubt that the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.

Gives promise of rapid improvement with the correct coaching and support.
 
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