Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith has revealed he will link up with Collingwood premiership hero Nick Daicos for a training camp in New York.
Smith is in the midst of a “pretty big” off-season ahead of the most crucial year of his AFL career to date, looking to reestablish himself as a midfielder while eyeing off a bumper new contract for 2025 and beyond.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Bailey Smith heading to New York with AFL superstar Nick Daicos.
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And with the Dogs hunting a return to the finals, having missed out in 2023 despite a 12-11 record, any improvement promises to help push the team towards the top eight.
Smith, after a “disappointing” individual campaign, has already accepted the need to avoid “the trap of over-training” and promised to ‘attack’ whatever role he is assigned by coach Luke Beveridge.
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Now the 22-year-old will tap into one of the game’s youngest stars for some inspiration.
“Heading off to New York soon so it’ll be good to do a few training sessions over there with Nick Daicos,” Smith told 7NEWS Melbourne’s Mitch Cleary.
Bailey Smith is trying not to over-train in 2024. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty ImagesNick Daicos starred in just his second year of AFL footy. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images
“That’ll be super fun. Just doing what I can do without overdoing it mate. Enjoying it.”
The footballers, who are business partners and share a sponsor in Monster Energy, will visit the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and take in some MMA training.
The 20-year-old Daicos established himself further this year when he finished third in the Brownlow Medal and helped Collingwood win the flag.
“I think something where we’ve got a lot of room to grow in AFL is appreciating great players as they come along,” Smith said.
“I love watching his journey and then to be able to work together over this off-season will be amazing.
“Hopefully I can have a year like his next year.”
Bailey Smith (middle) and Nick Daicos (right) are business partners off the field. Credit: 7NEWS
Smith was involved in a contract tease last week in response to fresh rumours that he is an “80 per cent chance” of moving clubs.
The Bulldogs used the high-profile superstar to plug a new four-year sponsorship, with their caption leading fans to initially believe he had already re-signed.
But a new deal is “not really at the forefront” of his mind right now.
“There’s so much room left to grow and do in the imminent months now with pre-season,” Smith said.
“Just itching for Round 1 to come around already, which is annoying because you’ve got to pace yourself. Just keen to smack out the next (few months).”
Smith is bound to have a decision to make eventually with the Bulldogs battling several clubs – Hawthorn, Geelong, Collingwood and Essendon have all been named as interest parties – for his signature.
For now, a finals charge with the Dogs is all that matters.
“I think we’re all bloody keen,” Smith said.
“The facilities (Whitten Oval redevelopment) are almost up and running at the Dogs, which has been exciting. Everyone’s keen at this point of the year, it’s a long time till the season comes.
“The main thing is just keeping the body healthy and the mind right, and I really hope the rest takes care of itself next year and we actually have a good year.”
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