Daniel Nicholson: The Model Student

Last Friday night, Melbourne’s Daniel Nicholson went to the football with his teammate and housemate, Tom McDonald, and the Demons’ defensive coach Jade Rawlings.

Rawlings suggested Nicholson watch the way St Kilda’s James Gwilt (at 18cm, five centimetres taller than Nicholson but also a left-footer) and Richmond’s Steve Morris went about playing their roles.

“We have got a huge emphasis on going to watch football live now,” Nicholson said. “You learn a lot sitting in the grandstand watching other players.”

On Saturday night, Nicholson put some of those lessons into practice in just his second game for the season.

He played the small defender role, winning 22 disposals, with 13 of them contested and laid three tackles. He also pressed up to put the ball inside 50 three times and have a shot for goal in the last quarter that was, according to the umpire, touched on the line.

Nicholson said the Demons’ defence was determined to concede as few goals as possible. He felt the back line worked really hard to restrict the Bombers to six goals.

“We call it the ‘fortress’ down back, just never giving up on those goals. You would have seen in the game [that] there were a couple of times where it looked like they should have scored but just through not giving up we were able to stop them scoring,” Nicholson said. Read more…