Nick Davis (footballer)
|Full name||Nicholas Davis|
|Date of birth||30 March 1980|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Victoria|
|Original team||St George (SAFL), NSW-ACT U18|
|Draft||19th overall, 1998
Collingwood (Father/son selection)
|Height/Weight||184 cm / 81 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2008 season.
Born in Melbourne, and moving to Sydney at the age of four, Davis played rugby league football as a schoolboy before becoming involved in Australian rules. He was drafted by Collingwood, the club where his father Craig played 102 of his 163 VFL/AFL games, with a father-son pick in the 1998 AFL Draft. Davis was never comfortable living under the microscope at Victoria Park, where the expectations placed upon him were magnified by the spectre of his father's courageous attitude to the game and triumph over adversity, combined with the Magpie fans' insatiable desire for success.
After 16 games in his debut season, a homesick Davis fled back to Sydney after just two days of his second pre-season campaign. It took two weeks for him to regain enough composure to return to Melbourne.
At the end of his two-year contract, Davis re-signed and rewarded the club's faith with a solid year, kicking 36 goals in 21 games. But after an injury-riddled pre-season in 2002 and some indifferent performances early in the year, pressure mounted on Davis to re-sign with the Magpies. He said he wanted to wait until the end of the season, a decision that did not go down well with the Magpie hierarchy.
After playing 20 games – including a cracker against Adelaide in the preliminary final win that steered Collingwood into the 2002 Grand Final – Davis told the Magpies he wanted to go home. A last-minute trade – a bargain that cost the Swans just a second round pick in the 2002 draft – paved the way for Davis to move home.
He hit the ground running in 2003 with 32 goals in 24 appearances before injuries again interceded in 2004; first hip, then ankle. The rigours of rehabilitating an injured ankle quickly eroded Davis's desire to play footy. For two days in June 2004, the club did not know of his whereabouts and when he did return, he was having serious thoughts about shifting to rugby league.
Davis's enthusiasm eventually returned and, although he showed glimpses of his best (like the three impressive goals in the round 21 win over the Bombers at Telstra Stadium), he carried the remnants of the hip and ankle injuries through the year.
2005 – Realising potential
Despite a three-week stint on the sidelines with a hamstring strain mid-year, Davis's form continually improved throughout 2005. He was rewarded for his superior fitness with the occasional run through the midfield, while 12 of his 31 goals for the season came in the final month.
The Swans were a long way behind at three-quarter time. They'd been beaten to the ball for most of the night by Geelong who entered as underdogs.
In a low-scoring game, the Cats' 17-point lead looked imposing. And when David Johnson – Davis's direct opponent – kicked the first goal of the last quarter, the margin looked insurmountable. Immediately after this teammate Brett Kirk rushed over to Davis to let him know that he had to account for his mistake that had put his team further behind.
In the ensuing 20 minutes, two difficult snaps and a set-shot from Davis meant the Swans were only three points down with only minutes to play.
With ten seconds remaining there was a ball-up within twenty metres of the Swans' goal. Davis collected the tap of ruckman Jason Ball but did not have time to take a clean possession. Davis was also on the wrong side of the goal for a right-footed player of his nature. Davis juggled the ball before snapping a shot with his left-foot, kicking a goal and sealing the match with just 3 seconds remaining. The goal, which gave the Sydney Swans their only lead of the game, sent the crowd at the SCG into hysterics. The game is considered to be one of the most exciting finals in the history of AFL football.
The Swans went into the preliminary final against the Saints the next week and won thanks to an amazing last-quarter burst, and won the 2005 AFL Grand Final the following week. If it wasn't for Davis's heroics in the Semi-Final, say many Sydney fans, they would never have made it to a flag.
"I'm a scapegoat"
In round 14 of 2006 after the Swans had played Adelaide at the SCG, Nick Davis was dropped from the seniors and sent to the reserves. This proved to be a major challenge for Davis after an outcry to the media Paul Roos was furious and kept him playing in the reserves for 6 weeks. However, he came back in round 21 and played all the remaining games of the season, including the 2006 GF where he was one of Sydneys best kicking 3 majors.
Nick Davis played only three games for the Swans in 2008, after being dropped for a period and then being brought back in to cover during Barry Hall's seven-match suspension for striking Brent Staker. He played in the controversial draw against the North Melbourne Kangaroos before again being dropped. He would not play another game for the Swans for the year after dislocating his kneecap and requiring surgery. He was not offered another contract at the end of the season.
Davis flagged an interest in moving to Perth to play for the West Coast Eagles when he came out of contract at the end of the 2008 season. He was delisted at the end of the year and was not selected in the 2008 AFL Draft. He attempted to convert sports to become a punter in the NFL, but was not signed by any team.
In 2012 Davis became a runner for the Sydney Swans, he also helps out as a marking and kicking coach for the Cronulla Sharks.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Nick Davis's profile on the official website of the Sydney Swans
- Left/right forward pocket (regularly)
- left/right half forward flank
- Cowley, Michael (3 June 2010). "Top leaguies could be stars with a Sherrin, says former Swan". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- I want to join the Eagles: Davis
- Ex-Swan Nick Davis sets his sights on NFL berth
- Nick Davis' player profile at AFL Tables