Nick Daicos is one of the most well-known prospective AFL players in the 2021 draft. The son of legendary Magpies ace Peter and brother of Collingwood star Josh, Nick is one of Prepare Like A Pro’s esteemed national ambassadors.
Daicos is undoubtedly one of the most well-known draftees in football history, given his popularity on social media and heightened focus on the talent pipeline. Daicos, potentially the league’s first father-son selection ever, has already signed a four-year contract, has an endorsement deal with Nike, has over 50,000 Instagram followers, is known by a moniker “Whisper” (his social media account username), is stopped for pictures on the street frequently draws hundreds of supporters to his NAB games. Add to that he’s going to one of the country’s biggest clubs, which just had its worst season in more than two decades, and the attention on Daicos is entirely understandable.
This is Nick Daicos, a basketball-smitten, Fortnite-playing youngster navigating COVID-19 challenges during the most crucial year of his young career. All while being the white hope for Collingwood, a classy midfielder with pinpoint finesse, an incredible work ethic, a thirst for the ball, a star mentality, and a talent for the goal that is in his genes.
The elder Daicos is still remembered as a Pies hero, a 250-game standout who scored 549 goals and led them to their first-ever premiership in 1990. Daicos was known as the ‘Macedonian Marvel’ for his incredible goal-scoring feats and football prowess. The 60-year-old, who deals in real estate development, is now a proud father.
“When I was younger, I’d search him up on YouTube and have a look at a few of his goals,” Nick said in an interview with AFL’s website. “He’s the last person who would say, ‘Hey, look at this clip of me!’, but we are all so proud of dad.”
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said Daicos would have been selected for round one if he had been on the list after working with the Pies twice a week as part of the club’s father-son program in February.
“There’s no disputing his absolute talent. He already looks strong, quick, low to the ground – the Daicos trait. Very powerful. Left foot, right foot. Talent-wise there’s no question. Effort, attitude-wise he looks really good,” Buckley said.
All father-son possibilities pique interest, but when you combine Collingwood’s troubles and Daicos’ form in 2021, he becomes a national figure. However, as the year progressed, Daicos was undecided about nominating for the Pies or joining the open draft. In February, Daicos, his parents, and D’Orazio met with Collingwood football manager Graham Wright, who explicitly confirmed the club’s intention of signing him.
“At the moment, I’m up for grabs for anyone. I’m so driven by team success. I want to win two, three, or four flags. That’s my aim. I feel like I’ve got to make the decision that’s right for me, I don’t feel pressure to nominate as a father-son. I’ve worked hard to get into this position and hopefully, it pans out that I do get to Collingwood and I’m really liking the club. But I’m stuck in the middle and not sure what I’ll do or where I’ll go,” said the younger Daicos.
He also confirmed his desire to play with his brother and be recognized as the top draft pick.
“The pro is I’d love to play with Josh. To play with your brother at the highest level would be a dream come true. That’s the main thing for me to go there. Against would probably be that I really want to be the No.1 draft pick. That’s my aim but if I’m a father-son it could stop that. A lot of people will say, ‘It’s just a pick’ which is definitely fair enough but it’s also a really good representation of the hard work that’s been put in.”
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