North Melbourne legend David King has warned Nick Daicos that prioritising individual glory could come at the expense of his team after labelling the Collingwood star "selfish" in the wake of their shock loss to Carlton. The Blues extended their winning streak to six games after inflicting just the third defeat of the season on Daicos and the ladder-leading Pies on Friday night at the MCG.
Daicos has surged into favouritism for the Brownlow Medal after a stunning second season in the AFL, but King argued there were moments in the loss to Carlton where it looked like the 20-year-old was playing for himself, rather than his team. The dual premiership Kangaroos great warned that it's a part of Daicos' game that could "fracture" the playing group if it's not properly addressed.
“If you want to win the Brownlow, you’ll probably win the Brownlow,” King said on Fox Footy's The First Crack. “If you want to win a premiership, you could win a premiership. But if you’re going to go down this path of burning your teammates, things will dry up very quickly for you.”
Daicos is undoubtedly the future of the club, with reports he's set to sign a big-money contract extension in the coming days that will keep him at Collingwood until the end of 2029. While King said there was no doubting the midfielder's talent, he said several passages of play during Friday night's game show the youngster still has plenty to learn about becoming a better team player.
David King's warning for 'selfish' Nick Daicos
King accused Daicos of ignoring teammates when they were in better scoring positions, instead opting to take difficult shots at goal himself. King played two clips of Daicos feigning to pass to teammates or completely ignoring them, before going for goal himself.
The first instance saw Daicos snub a handball to Pies teammate Jamie Elliott, before taking a challenging snap at goal that was touched on the line by Jacob Weitering. The second clip showed the midfielder overlook a number of teammates in better scoring positions before launching another shot at goal from 45 metres out.
“That’s a give every day of the week to Jamie Elliott and he is a quality finisher. This one here, he knows exactly what’s around him every moment. He burns number one ... he burns De Goey with a little chip pass, he burns Howe on the lead and then he resets and goes again. He burns McCreery at the top of the goalsquare and they’re not happy about it,” King said.
“He (Daicos) knows. You can tell by the look on his face that he knows exactly what he’s done to four of his teammates. I just say plain and simple work out what you want to do.
"Do you want to have individual success or team success, because you’re that important to this team. You could fracture the whole thing in a heartbeat with this sort of selfish play.”
Daicos was still one of the best players in a losing cause for Collingwood after racking up 28 disposals (nine contested), six clearances, nine score involvements and two behinds. However, the warning from King is no doubt food for thought for Daicos and the Magpies, ahead of Saturday's MCG showdown against Hawthorn.
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