Dal Santo recalls “sinking feeling” before North Melbourne axing

AFL Nation - Wed, 22nd Aug 2018 - 0 Comments

Former North Melbourne midfielder Nick Dal Santo has revealed what took place the day he was told his services at the Kangaroos would no longer be required.

Dal Santo was coming out of contract at the end of the 2016 season, and was yet to be notified as to whether he would receive a new deal to remain at Arden Street.

The three-time All-Australian says he received an unexpected phone call from coach Brad Scott on a Tuesday afternoon, asking the veteran if he could seek a meeting without disclosing what would be discussed.

“It was yesterday two years ago leading into the last round,” Dal Santo told SEN Afternoons.

“There had been a lot of talk, it was a Tuesday afternoon, we finished at about 12-1:00, it was a half-day on a Tuesday, we got our work done early and we got the afternoon off.

“Just as I was getting home and I was about to pick up my son from day-care that particular day, I get the call from the coach and I thought: what’s Brad Scott calling me for at 1:30 on a Tuesday?

“We touched base and he said: ‘let me come over, I’m going to have a chat’. I said: ‘no worries’.

“I had that instant sinking feeling in your guts that that might be it.”

Dal Santo was told by Scott he would not be offered a new deal with the Roos, and explained the reasons why.

“An hour later Brad Scott comes over and sits down, I always got along with Brad really well and still do to this day, he was always very respectful with me,” he added.

“He asked me how I was feeling, we had just lost to Sydney down at Hobart, and I spoke about that my body feels good, mentally I’m here and I’m still committed.

“He wrapped me up and said: ‘you’re playing some good football and pretty much took all my arguments away from me’.

“Then for a split second I thought: that’s nice, Brad’s driven all the way from the footy club in North Melbourne to Bayside to tell me I’m getting another contract.

“He said all those really nice things, but he said you just can’t do it at the Kangaroos next year.

“I didn’t cry, I wasn’t emotionally upset but the best bit I did in regards to that conversation with Brad Scott, we sat there for another 45 minutes and spoke and he presented the club and where they were going and the young players coming through.

“Brad showed me respect and I was ok.”

Dal Santo played 322 games for North Melbourne and St Kilda after making his AFL debut back in 2002.

Listen to Nick Dal Santo’s chat on SEN Afternoons with Andy Maher in the player below