Collingwood premiership player Josh Daicos has set the record straight after recent comments comparing the AFL to the global behemoth that is the English Premier League.
The 25-year-old met Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou and toured the club’s impressive facilities.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Daicos makes sad personal admission over ‘joke’ gone wrong.
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Back home in Melbourne, he was quoted as being “quite flat” about the contrast between how AFL and EPL players are treated.
“It’s quite amazing the disparity in wealth over there,” he told News Corp.
“They were telling me that when they are training, and obviously it’s quite cold when they play, they have heaters for the ground to make sure the ground is not frosted.
“And that costs I think $A20,000, so £10,000, just to put it on for the day. And I think they had it on for 40 days straight last year. So we don’t get that sort of treatment.”
Headlines claimed Daicos was complaining about player wages and he faced a backlash from fans and talkback radio hosts.
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Daicos received a signed shirt from Son Heung-min and posed for photos with Ange Postecoglou. Credit: Instagram
Daicos raised the criticism unprompted on Saturday when discussing what he took from watching EPL players up close and meeting Postecoglou.
“There’s so much you can pick up from the players, just their professionalism and the way they attack training,” he said.
“Ange was amazing, it was an absolute honour to be able to go over there and meet him.
“It was really disappointing that I think the joke I made got taken out of context. I should’ve probably read the room better.
“Those who know me know how grateful I am to be in the position I am.
“And that trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that I’ll always remember and it’s sad to see the narrative be changed.”
The AFL star learned about the luxuries enjoyed by EPL clubs. Credit: Instagram
Daicos was open about his struggles on the path to premiership glory after the Pies won the grand final in September.
Standing alongside brother Nick and dad Peter, his voice cracked as he spoke of the pressures of competing for his AFL career.
“They were tough years but if it wasn’t for dad and Nick, honestly, they were huge in just making me stay positive,” he said at the time.
“And making me still enjoy the game, which I was struggling with at the time. I was never ever going to give up on it, it’s something that I’ve always dreamed about so I was going to fight to the very end.
“I was lucky with all the support of all the boys and dad and Nick to get to this position, it’s something that we’ll forever look back on.”
The Daicos brothers will begin pre-season training together on Monday despite Josh, entering his eighth year, being allowed an extra week off.
“You spend some time celebrating and enjoying that (premiership),” he said this weekend.
“But you get straight back to work and obviously you want to get that feeling again, so I’m sure come Monday we’ll hit the ground running.”
Nick and Josh Daicos lift the premiership cup. Credit: Getty
Daicos was among a group of Collingwood stars training together last week.
Notably, John Noble completed the informal session in a premiers T-shirt for some added motivation after missing out on the entire finals series.
The 26-year-old’s run of 83 consecutive games ended when he was dropped for the Pies’ qualifying final.
Devastated, he clung to hope of a recall and featured heavily behind the scenes throughout the run to the grand final.
Noble was one of three Collingwood regulars, alongside Taylor Adams and Dan McStay, to miss out on the decider and therefore official recognition as a premiership player.
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John Noble wore a premiers T-shirt as motivation. Credit: Instagram/Nick Daicos
“They were a big reason why we were there,” teammate Mason Cox said.
“Without Dan McStay kicking two goals in the prelim we probably don’t make it (to the grand final)
“It is frustrating to not see them have a medal around their neck to be honest. I would change it in a heartbeat.
“Without them we are not in this situation. “To have that happen (to McStay) in a prelim is f****** shattering.
“Guys like John Noble and Tay Adams, it is something you wouldn’t wish on the worst person.
“I don’t know what the ruling would be but it just seems wrong to not have them with a medal.”
Pies coach Craig McRae refused to wear the Jock McHale Medal because, like players who do not play in the grand final, assistant coaches are not formally recognised by the AFL either.
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