Nick Daicos has made it very clear that he doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention from the AFL world.
For at least the second time this year, the game’s hottest and most talked about player has admitted he’s “uncomfortable” with the wild hysteria that has dogged him over his insane sophomore form.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Melee combat erupts as Pies protects Nick Daicos.
Analysis, local football and biggest moments: Seven and 7plus are home to football shows for every fan. Stream them all for free 7plus >>
A form that, as a 20-year-old, makes him a favorite to win the Brownlow medal, not least.
Speaking to Channel 7 shortly after Collingwood’s 14-point win over Richmond in Round 3, Daicos was asked how he handles the attention.
“It’s definitely not fun for me, that’s for sure,” Daicos admitted at the time.
“I haven’t been on social media for quite a while after the games and I kind of stay away from it (the hype) so I don’t hear much about it.”
Now the Magpies superstar has reiterated that admission in an interview with former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.
He said he’s only the star player that he is because of the teammates around him.
“The ultimate goal for me is team success and that’s why I think I get very uncomfortable at times when I’m given the individual attention,” Daicos said in the interview, which aired on Fox Sports on Sunday.
“I think the start of the year was a little overwhelming for me because I’m not used to it and I don’t want so much attention.
I try to put it on the team because I really feel like without them and everything they do for me, I’m not the player I am.
“I have a really good offensive role on our team and there are a lot of players doing a lot of things behind the scenes for me to fill that role.”
“I’m very uncomfortable in the limelight and my goal this year was to win a Premier League.
“Today ‘Fly’ (coach Craig McRae) called me to show me how (last week) I followed a tackle with a soil out of bound. He said if I continue to perform I will receive individual awards but if I continue to do that I will receive team awards and that inspired me to continue with that.”
Former Pies captain Scott Pendlebury believes players like Daicos are underpaid.
“I still think the players and coaching staff in our game are grossly underpaid,” Pendlebury said recently ball magnets.
“Everyone will say, ‘You get paid so much as a player’, (but) Nick Daicos, Dusty Martin – like they can’t have a normal life in Melbourne. You have nowhere to go.
“They say, ‘Well, you get paid $250,000.'”
“I think if you’re a good player in the AFL over a period of time you have to reward these guys because we don’t want rugby, cricket and all these sports to outperform their salaries on their best players because that’s when we lose kids to this sport.
“That’s what I’m thinking. I’m getting shot; ‘Players are greedy blah blah’.”
Daicos has reached a level of notoriety as a young player not seen since Bailey Smith and may even have surpassed the Western Bulldogs midfielder after just 34 games.