Majak millions? Daw wide open30/08/2018 - Author: admin
Majak Daw is out of contract and, as yet, there have been no significant talks between North Melbourne and his management.
There’s nothing sinister in this delay. Daw has only played five games and is yet to establish himself as a regular senior player in his fourth season. Players in that position aren’t normally high on a club’s list of contractual priorities.
Except that Daw isn’t a typical five-game, key-position player. He’s a powerful and arresting athlete with a unique cultural identity and, in terms of generating discussion and media, might be North’s greatest asset since Wayne Carey.
Certainly, no other North player brings an SBS dimension to a club that often finds itself playing way off Broadway and is seldom seen under Friday night lights.
Carey was the game’s best. Daw is unproven. In the course of last year, there were some within North’s football department – including coaches – who harboured doubts that he would make it. He has potential, but he’s very much the unfinished work. Brad Scott suggested Daw might take another five years to peak.
He is a magnet for media, but not the ball.
Daw, thus, is not an easy player to price in the football marketplace. Most players are easily slotted into a particular pay bracket, by dint of of their performances and potential. Daw is not so easily classified. His profile and potential exceed his output, but it’s arguable that he’s worth more to North than to, say, Collingwood. In an attempt to gain some some idea of how the market regarded shares in Majak, this column quizzed a quartet of list management/contractual experts from rival clubs. The responses were remarkably similar, almost uniform.
They saw Daw as a player of significant athletic talent, who had not yet shown footy smarts. They also recognised what he meant to North, a club that struggles for profile and support, as a business proposition and branding device.
All four of these officials surveyed felt Daw, an upgraded rookie who had only a one-year deal from last year, should be given a two-year deal and the consensus was that he ought to be paid in the vicinity of $230,000-$260,000, with a couple saying he ought to have “scope” to earn more if he played a certain number of games.
Daw is anything but average, but the list managers considered that he was worth roughly the average wage for an AFL footballer (about $250,000), a judgment that balanced his athleticism and exciting traits with the fact that he’s played five games and there are still doubts about the heights he will reach. As one list manager observed, comparisons with Nic Naitanui were extravagant based on what he had done to date.
“He’s a fair way off it still,” he said, adding that North would do well to give him potential to earn more than $300,000 if he played regularly. This was another shared judgment – that North and Daw would be best served by giving him a contract that rewarded him for playing games, perhaps with trigger clauses whereby he would get a sling when he reached particular thresholds like 15, 20 and 25 games.
It was also said that Daw could earn a fair portion of his next contract via the Additional Services Agreements (ASA), the capped marketing deals that are given to players for promoting the club, dealing with sponsors and so forth. Daw already receives a modest sum from the AFL as a multicultural ambassador and, clearly, there’s vast possibilities for that kind of extra salary cap work.
Daw is an intriguing football prospect. He has had one spectacular game, booting six goals, against weak opposition (the Bulldogs), in which he demonstrated stunning attributes. Yet, six days later, he seemed lost on capacious Subiaco, fumbled and was subbed off. North fared better kicking to the more footy-smart Aaron Black.
Which will prove the real Majak? It’s too soon to say. North, which punted on him when he was a low-risk investment, will have to raise its stake.
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