On Tuesday, I noticed Nick Dal Santo’s retirement on St Kilda Football Club’s Facebook page. My footy club appreciates his services at St Kilda.
In August, North Melbourne announced that they would not renew his contract. The news was sad for me because I like Dal. Then he has sought a new club to play on, but was unable to find one and decided to put up his boots.
The Bendigo boy was recruited in 2001 National Draft at Pick number 13 by St Kilda.
He blossomed under the coach Grant Thomas alongside our legends including Nick Riewoldt, Lenny Hayes, Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke and Leigh Montagna. At the early time at St Kilda, he established great friendships with fellow Saints and loyalty for the club.
Being honest, I didn’t watch many games when he was playing for St Kilda and only know he was a good player. Without knowing his play, I can’t write a tribute to one of my favourite players, so didn’t hesitate to ask the modern technology to help me.
Searching “Nick Dal Santo highlights” on YouTube, I found a video St Kilda club uploaded, but it was an interview with him. Then the collection of his great plays came straight.
Dal was great at collecting the ball after the hit out at centre and it had been dropped no matter who did. Then his efficient kicks produced marks taken by teammates including another Nick (Riewoldt), and helped scoring a goal.
In my perception, his play styles were the same as what our young players have been doing recent months. Dal Santo was one of hero in the late 2000s to 2011 era.
After his good mentor Ross Lyon had left, his beloved footy club went downhill and needed to rebuild. Being grilled by Sam Newman on Footy Show, he vowed not to leave St Kilda, but he was traded to North Melbourne at the end of the 2013 season.
It was so sad for him to leave the club which he loved for them. Opposed to Brendon Goddard, I still feel sorry for Dal Santo having to leave St Kilda.
The 322-game player ended his career with the averages of 13.0 kicks, 9.9 handballs, 22.9 disposals, 3.7 marks, 0.5 goals and 3.6 tackles. His record shows he was good at disposals.
When I watched the game between St Kilda and North Melbourne, he kicked from the goal post as well as did Leigh Montagna. It shows veterans had to give ways to young footballers.
Dal Santo has set his career plan as the combination of coaching, media and cooperation. I’m sure he will succeed in the media as he appeared regularly on Footy Show. I like his character on TV too.
I have got another good role model in my life for switching the career path.
Following his Instagram, I left a wish message for him. Once again, thanks Dal for his services at St Kilda and I wish all the best to him and his family.
I wish he could have stayed at St Kilda. I’m sure he would play on next year if he were a one club player.