Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

What more do you want? The stats that prove Daicos naysayers have no leg to stand on


I’m fulfilling a promise that will categorically put the claims that were made on Tuesday by text and over the phone that Nick Daicos doesn't win his own ball into the nonsense basket.

I've been taken aback for 12 months at how quickly listeners of Sportsday and some journos have jumped into this young gun, given he’s as good a second-year player the game has ever seen. Well, that's what my eyes tell me anyway.

He may have one or two peers over the journey. Chris Judd, for instance. Joel Selwood was a star in his first couple. But I can think of no one that has actually gone better.

As Dwayne Russell would say, he's as good as it gets on the field and is fantastic off it in representing his club and family.

The criticism last night got to the ridiculous, where it was suggested by some that if he played forward, he wouldn't have any impact.

In the words of John McEnroe: ‘You can't be serious, man, you cannot be serious!’.

On Tuesday night you gave your opinion both good and bad about Daicos, and for those who said he doesn't win his own ball, let me prove to you how wrong you are.

It's why I love Champion Data, for the numbers aren't biased. They don't barrack for anyone, and they never lie.

Exhibit A in the Daicos case is last year's Grand Final where the Pies won in a classic.

The top 10 contested ball winners for Collingwood were … in equal 10th – Steele Sidebottom, Jamie Elliott and Brayden Maynard with six contested possessions. In equal eighth – Jordan De Goey and Will Hoskin-Elliott at seven apiece. In sixth was Pat Lipinski with eight. Scott Pendlebury and Jack Crisp came in at equal fourth with nine contested possessions.

Tom Mitchell and Darcy Cameron were equal second with 10 contested possessions.

So, you guessed it, the man that many think, ‘Doesn't win his own contested ball’, who, ‘Won't make a small forward’, and who virtually won the premiership with a handball most couldn't even conceive, let alone achieve, was in first place with 11 contested possessions.

That was Nick Daicos in last year's Grand Final.

So, the man-boy that so many listeners last night and others in the football world who have unjustly criticised won his own ball more than any other player for the premiers in the biggest game of them all last year.

What more do you want?

This must come as a shock to some, in fact, to many, because you're so ingrained in bias that you won't accept the reality.

Nick Daicos is a young champion, who, if he was moved forward would absolutely dominate and be a multiple All-Australian. He reads the ball so well. His career figures, given that he has played mainly on the back flank, are no less impressive when compared to some of the greats.

Consider two of them. Sam ‘The Extractor’ Mitchell, contested possession extraordinaire. Well across his career, he averaged 10 contested possessions and 16 uncontested possessions at a ratio of around 40 per cent.

Scott Pendlebury, legend of the game - 10.5 contested possessions on average, 15 uncontested possessions. That’s roughly around that 40 per cent mark.

Nick Daicos, currently across his very young career of two years - 7.5 contested possessions and 17.6 uncontested at an average of just over 30 per cent.

So, in just his second year, he's just three contested possessions behind Scott Pendlebury and 2.5 behind Sam Mitchell who both played the majority of their careers as inside mids.

But as the Daicos Grand Final showed, he is catching them.

Well, in fact, he's caught them already with a ratio of 40 per cent contested possessions in the most important game of them all.

Some players are built lower to the ground or have more bulk and are more suited to play further inside the contest.

Some have leg speed and lightning brains that allow them to win it and get away, that can't be argued.

Daicos is clearly one of those.

But given that Daicos has now played just two seasons, won more contested ball than any other Collingwood player in the Grand Final and is well on his way to equalling two great midfielders in his ratios.

I'd pull up on the nonsensical criticism and just sit back and enjoy the show of the ‘The Marvel’ Mark II.

AFLTipping24 728x90

Collingwood Sportsday

More in AFL