Nick Davis (footballer)

Nick Davis (footballer)
Nick Davis
Personal information
Full name Nick Davis
Date of birth 30 March 1980 (1980-03-30) (age 31)
Place of birth Melbourne
Original team St George (SAFL), NSW-ACT U18
Draft 19th overall, 1998
Collingwood (Father/son selection)
Height/Weight 184 cm / 81 kg
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1999 – 2002
2003 – 2008
Sydney Swans
71 0(85)
97 (150)
1 Playing statistics to end of 2008 season .
Career highlights

Nick Davis (born 30 March 1980) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Collingwood Football Club and the Sydney Swans in the AFL.



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.[1] 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.

Sydney career

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.

2005 Semi-Final

His 4 goal heroics during the final quarter of the 2005 second semi-final at the SCG against Geelong will be long remembered amongst fans and players alike.

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 fellow 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.

The nature of the game meant that forwards Barry Hall and Michael O'Loughlin were provided with little space to operate and few clean marking opportunities.

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 recent history.

Premiership win

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 out cry 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 has flagged interest in a possible move West to play for the West Coast Eagles as he is out of contract at the end of the year.[when?] Nick was delisted at the end of the year and has stated that if no one picks him up in the draft he will try to go to the USA to play NFL.

Season statistics

Year Team Number Games Kicks Handballs Marks Tackles Total Disposals Goals Behinds Goal Accuracy % Brownlow Medal Votes
1999 Collingwood 19 16 117 54 43 9 171 5 9 36 0
2000 Collingwood 19 14 142 69 76 10 211 13 8 62 1
2001 Collingwood 19 21 242 100 115 27 342 36 15 70 5
2002 Collingwood 19 20 156 39 84 15 195 31 22 58 2
2003 Sydney 2 24 211 105 91 35 316 32 19 63 0
2004 Sydney 2 12 67 37 34 9 104 21 7 75 1
2005 Sydney 2 23 210 89 95 29 299 38 21 64 0
2006 Sydney 2 17 160 74 92 34 234 23 18 56 0
2007 Sydney 2 18 139 73 69 23 212 33 21 61 1
2008 Sydney 2 3 21 12 15 4 33 3 4 43 0
Totals 168 1465 652 714 195 2117 235 135 64% 10

External links


  • Left/right forward pocket (regularly)
  • Midfield
  • left/right half forward flank


  1. ^ 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. 

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