Nick Daicos has made it very clear that he doesn’t enjoy being the centre of the AFL world’s attention.
For at least the second time this year, the game’s hottest and most talked about player has conceded that he is “uncomfortable” with the wild hysteria that has followed him on the back of his freakish second-year form.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Melee erupts as Pies protect Nick Daicos.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
Form that has him billed as the favourite to win the Brownlow Medal as a 20-year-old, no less.
Speaking to Channel 7 moments after Collingwood’s 14-point win over Richmond in Round 3, Daicos was asked how he deals with the attention.
“I definitely don’t enjoy it, that’s for sure,” Daicos admitted at the time.
“I’m off social media a fair bit after games and I sort of stay away from it (the hype), so I don’t hear a lot of it.”
Now, in an interview with former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, the Magpies superstar has doubled down on that admission.
He said he’s only the star player he is because of the teammates around him.
“The ultimate goal for me is team success and that’s why I think I do get very uncomfortable at times with individual attention I do get,” Daicos said in the interview which aired on Fox Sports on Sunday.
“I think the start of the year has been a little overwhelming for me because I’m not used to that and I don’t want all that attention.
I try to deflect it to the team because I genuinely feel like I’m not the player I am without them and everything they do for me.
“I get a really good role in our team to create offensively and there are a lot of players that do a lot of stuff behind the scenes to allow me to get that role.
“I do get very uncomfortable with the spotlight and my goal this year has been to win a premiership.
“Today ‘Fly’ (coach Craig McRae) called me in to show me how I followed up a tackle with a spoil out of bounds (last week). He said if I keep performing, individual accolades will come, but if you keep doing that, team accolades will come, and that inspired me to keep doing it.”
Former Pies skipper Scott Pendlebury thinks that players of Daicos’s ilk are underpaid.
“I still think the players and coaching staff in our game are heavily underpaid,” Pendlebury recently told Ball Magnets.
“Everyone will go, ‘You get paid so much as players’, (but) Nick Daicos, Dusty Martin — like they cannot live normal lives in Melbourne. They can’t go anywhere.
“They’re like, ‘Well, you’re getting paid 250k’.
“I feel like if you’re a good player in the AFL for a long period of time, you’ve got to reward these guys because we don’t want rugby, cricket, all these sports to overtake how much they’re paying their best players because then we’ll lose kids to that sport.
“That’s what I think. I’ll get shot down; ‘Players are greedy bla bla’.”
Daicos has reached a level of fame as a young player not seen since Bailey Smith, and might have even surpassed the Western Bulldogs midfielder after just 34 games.
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .