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More to young Daicos than genetics

Ben Guthrie (AFL Media)  June 13, 2018 10:00 AM

Top 5: Round 12 Watch the best five moments from Collingwood's round 11 encounter with Fremantle, presented by Collingwood Media and premier partner CGU Insurance.
It would be nice to be a bit of an entertainer, but for the meanwhile I'll focus on what I need to do to get a game.

His father was a crowd pleaser and Josh Daicos hopes, the longer his career goes, he can produce similar moments of brilliance that have Magpie fans eagerly pushing their way through the turnstiles.

Peter Daicos, dubbed the Macedonian Marvel, wowed crowds over his 15-year career at Collingwood, booting 549 goals in 250 matches in the Black and White.

Ridiculous goals from the tightest of angles, torpedoes on the run and a general knack for mercurial acts make Peter Daicos one of the greatest Collingwood players of all time.

Josh, 19, is at the beginning of his career, and will play just his fifth AFL match against Melbourne on Monday after being taken as a father-son selection (No.57 overall) in last year's NAB AFL Draft.

"It definitely helps that I've got his genetics. I've got the same build as him and there's a couple of things we do a bit similar," Daicos told AFL Media.

"I haven't watched a lot of his games, but he was a really good player and I obviously enjoyed watching him. He's taught me a lot of the things that he was able to develop and acquire so there is that likeness.

"It would be nice to be a bit of an entertainer, but for the meanwhile I'll focus on what I need to do to get a game."

Developing his consistency and cementing himself in the side has to be Daicos' major focus after he missed selection for the first nine rounds of the season.

Playing in the VFL, Daicos, slightly smaller than his father at 178cm (Peter was 184cm), worked on becoming more versatile, spending time in a high-half forward role on the wing and deep forward as well.

He returned to the senior team after gathering 29 disposals and laying five tackles against Coburg, a game where his precise kicking and slickness with ball in hand came to the fore.

Daicos played against the Western Bulldogs in round 10 and held his spot for the clash with Fremantle the week after, kicking a goal in each game.

"It was just about finding some confidence," he said of his stint in the VFL.

"It was trying to get the ball, try to kick some goals, have good pressure. All the things that they really wanted and needed at AFL level. Not playing can be hard, but we are going well in the VFL and I was just enjoying my football and had a good patch.

"Last year I played a lot as a small forward, but this year I played wing and a couple of other forward roles. It gets you in the game a little bit more, you understand the roles better and you're a bit more flexible as a player."

Chats with his famous Dad kept him grounded as he tried to push his way back into the senior side.

"He's always watching my games with me and helping me wherever he can, and he just gave me a lot of advice about my game, where I can better and he still does it even now," Daicos said.

"He wants me to really enjoy my football, really enjoy playing out on the big stage and playing against good teams and to just give it my best."

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Josh and Peter Daicos experience life at the Holden Centre the day after Josh became a Magpie in 2016. Image: AFL Photos.

Daicos' natural affiliation with the club he supported so strongly as a kid is evident, with the young forward hoping to extend his stay at the Holden Centre beyond this year.

"I've barracked for Collingwood my whole life and it's in my blood. To sign on would be huge and it would be very exciting," Daicos said.

"Hopefully those talks start to come along, but I'm not worried about it too much right now. That will take care of itself if I continue to play some decent footy."

Until then, Daicos plans to soak up the atmosphere as he strides out onto the MCG each week.

"Even hearing the Collingwood chant go around and remembering when I was a spectator and chanting that, it takes you back a bit. Sometimes you do need to pinch yourself … it feels a bit surreal."

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Daicos had a career-high 16 disposals in his third game of the season against Melbourne on Monday. Image: AFL Photos.