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Nic Nat a model as improving Daw battles hype

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott speaks with his players during the 2013 AFL round 04 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 21, 2013. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
North Melbourne coach Brad Scott
Nic Naitanui was pick two overall in the national draft; Majak was a rookie selection, so essentially Majak was in the hundreds. But 'Maj' is a good example of what you can do with really hard work. Hard work trumps talent any day of the week
Brad Scott
NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott welcomes the hype that will accompany Majak Daw's sensational six-goal haul against the Western Bulldogs, and has compared it with the fanfare that surrounds West Coast star Nick Naitanui.

Scott's side will clash with West Coast at Patersons Stadium on Friday night, a game that will feature the tantalising prospect of Daw opposing Naitanui in the occasional ruck and marking duel.

In his fourth AFL game, Daw doubled 78-gamer Naitanui's career-best effort of three goals.

At Etihad Stadium in Saturday's twilight game, the 22-year-old had 18 possessions (10 contested), eight marks (two contested), four hit-outs and bagged 6.4.

Daw kicked five of his goals when the game was still 'hot', before North turned a 12-point lead early in the last quarter into a 54-point win.

Scott admitted to being surprised by Daw's influence given his inexperience, but believes his emerging star need look no further than Naitanui for how to handle hype.

"I was over in Perth last week (watching the Eagles hammer the Dogs)
and we think there's hype around Majak; I mean, I've never heard a roar like it at Subiaco when Naitanui took the green vest off," Scott said post-match.

"In terms of excitement, there's precedent there for that sort of hype, and Naitanui's continued on.

"Majak will tell you himself he's nowhere near that level. He can do things that others can’t, but his challenge is to be able to do it when things aren’t working for him, and find another way to get the footy, and we're continually working with him (on that)."

Asked whether Daw based his spectacular ruckwork on Naitanui, Scott said: "A little bit but not really."

"Majak's got different strengths to Naitanui," he said. "We've got to remember Nic Naitanui was pick two overall in the national draft; Majak was a rookie selection, so essentially Majak was in the hundreds.

"But 'Maj' is a good example of what you can do with really hard work. Hard work trumps talent any day of the week."

Scott was confident Daw would cope with the spotlight.

"He's a pretty level-headed sort of guy," he said.

"A lot of people at our club have done a lot of work with him over a number of years to try and keep him level and focus on what's important, so I've got no problems with the inevitable hype and excitement.

"It's great for the game. It’s a great story.

"While he's not a complete footballer yet, we’re trying to play to his strengths and introduce things one at a time, and he's picking them up incredibly quickly.

"It's a really good advertisement for our game that you can take players from non-traditional football backgrounds."
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs