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  • Hayden Kaer

GameDay Squad: Aussie Rules Anzac Day Medal Predictions

Anzac Day is a highly anticipated fixture in the home & away season, and this year's match is shaping up to be a true blockbuster. It's a momentous occasion, as both teams are set to clash on Anzac Day while holding top-four positions for the first time since 2000. It's a match that holds deep significance and resonates with both players and fans alike. The historical significance of the day adds an extra layer of intensity to the game, making it a must watch game of footy.There's a certain aura surrounding this day, as players often rise to the occasion and deliver exceptional performances, with the Anzac Day medal being awarded to those who play above and beyond their average. Let's explore some potential contenders for the medal before I share my prediction on who will emerge as the deserving winner.


GameDay Squad Aussie Rules ANZAC Day Medal Predictions

Nick Daicos

Nick Daicos is undoubtedly the frontrunner for the highly coveted Anzac Day medal, and for good reason. The 20-year-old has had an outstanding start to the season, playing a pivotal role in the success of the Pies. He has earned the unwavering trust of his team as their primary ball mover, with his exceptional skills and ability to create scoring opportunities. Daicos has been a possession machine, consistently racking up impressive stats, and has also proven himself as a regular goal scorer. Daicos is poised to make a strong case for the medal right up to the final siren and it's no surprise that he is the clear favourite.


Jordan De Goey

Jordan De Goey is undeniably one of the most talented footballers in the competition, with a skill set that makes him a formidable weapon on the field. His ability to consistently get himself into good positions, break through tackles, take strong overhead marks, and kick goals from outside 50 makes him a very dangerous player. If Essendon decides to focus on shutting down Nick Daicos, De Goey could be the one to benefit with increased disposals. This makes his claim for the Anzac Day medal more likely as he is not known for a high possession count. De Goey comes back into the team after missing last week with illness and his fresh legs will likely cause the Bombers some real trouble.



Darcy Parish

Darcy Parish's previous Anzac Day Medal win in 2021 was a standout performance, showcasing his incredible talent with a commanding display of 42 disposals and 2 goals, resulting in Essendon's victory over the Pies by 24 points. Parish has been in scintillating form this season, consistently recording 30 or more disposals in every match. With Essendon's captain and fellow midfielder Zach Merrett side-lined due to suspension for the upcoming Anzac Day clash, Parish has the opportunity to have a huge impact on the game. As a prolific ball-winner, Parish has the potential to dominate the midfield and set the tone for his team. His work rate and determination make him a formidable presence on the field, and it's plausible that he could surpass his previous stats from a couple of years ago with a standout performance this Anzac Day. All eyes will be on Parish as he looks to add another Anzac Day Medal to his collection.


Scott Pendlebury

This 35 year old Collingwood legend has won the Anzac Day medal three times in the past and is a genuine superstar. Whilst his best footy may be behind him, Pendlebury’s class and talent continues to shine through the way he plays footy and he is still a pivotal member of the Collingwood squad. Renowned as a proven big-game player, Pendlebury is expected to play a pivotal role in this year's Anzac Day match and will without a doubt be involved in some big moments. If Craig McRae is looking to wrestle back momentum throughout the match I can see him keeping Pendlebury in the middle of the ground, just like last week against the Saints in which Pendlebury attended 91% of all centre bounces. Scott Pendlebury & James Hird are the only players to win three Anzac Day medals and I would not be surprised to see Pendlebury overtake Hird and win his fourth this Anzac Day.


Sam Draper

Collingwood have no genuine ruckman due to injuries and Draper will be licking his lips over the dominance he’s going to have in the middle of the ground. If Essendon are going to beat Collingwood I think Draper will have to dominate the ruck contests and kick a few goals himself. The big man has improved every season and he is a player that is able to impact a contest when the momentum is swinging the other way. Expect big things from Draper on Anzac Day, who is likely to finish with at least a few votes for the Anzac Day medal.


My Prediction

I just can’t look past Nick Daicos to win the Anzac Day medal in 2023. No team has been able to shut him down so far and he hasn’t fallen below 32 disposals in a match this season and is coming off 42 disposals last week. Daicos has given us no reason to believe that he’s going to have a drop off in form and he has demonstrated that he wants to be involved in big moments time and time again, which is what winning the Anzac Day medal is all about. With Daicos set to be a Pie for life, I think that he will overtake both Pendlebury and Hird as being the player to win the most Anzac Day medals by the end of his career.


 





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