Majak Daw (born 11 March 1991) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the North Melbourne Football Club and the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Majak Daw
Daw playing for North Melbourne in April 2018
Personal information
Full name Majak Daw
Date of birth (1991-03-11) 11 March 1991 (age 32)
Place of birth Khartoum, Sudan[1]
Original team(s) Western Jets (TAC Cup)
Height 195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 101 kg (223 lb)
Position(s) Forward / Ruckman / Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2011–2020 North Melbourne 54 (43)
2021–2022 Melbourne 00 0(0)
Total 54 (43)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of round 23, 2022.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Daw and his family in Australia are refugees from the civil wars in Sudan. Daw became the first Sudanese Australian to be drafted to an AFL club when he was contracted to North Melbourne in the 2009 AFL Draft. Daw's drafting gained international attention; it was reported by the BBC, the Voice of America and Sudan Tribune. His AFL career is to have inspired a whole generation of African Australians to take up the sport and many others who followed his career path.[2]

Early life edit

Daw was born in Khartoum, Sudan, the third of his parents' eventual seven children.[3] His family fled the Second Sudanese Civil War, living in Egypt for three years, then moved to Australia in 2003.[1][4]

TAC Cup years edit

Playing for the Western Jets Daw was identified as a future key-position player by North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.[5] Daw went to the 2009 Victorian Screening portion of the AFL pre-draft testing. He impressed with a 13.6 in the beep test and 3.03 seconds in a 20-metre sprint along with a standing jump of 70 centimetres.[6] He was one of 11 young Australian rules footballers to be given 2010 Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarships awarded by the AFL Players Association and accepted the awards on behalf of the other players.[7]

AFL career edit

Draft to North Melbourne edit

Daw was picked up with the ninth pick in the 2010 rookie draft.[8] His draft pick gained international media attention.[4][9] His career at North Melbourne began with playing for VFL club Werribee, where he continued to develop his game. He made his first appearance for North Melbourne in a pre-season NAB cup match against the Western Bulldogs on 20 February 2011.[3] In April 2011, playing for Werribee, Daw kicked an impressive running goal from beyond 50 m out,[10] prompting calls for his inclusion to the senior team.[11] He made his first appearance for North Melbourne in a NAB Cup match on 20 February 2011.[citation needed]

VFL racism incident edit

On 4 June 2011, Majak Daw was racially abused by a Port Melbourne Football Club supporter while he was playing for the Werribee Tigers in the VFL.[12] Daw stated that it "made [him] feel really small".[13] The man has since been banned from all VFL games until he completes an anti-racism workshop and formally apologises to Daw for the slur.[14] The incident has led to renewed calls to stamp out racism in sport, with former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu calling Daw a hero.[15]

Suspension from North Melbourne senior team edit

Daw was suspended from North Melbourne Football Club in February 2012 and remanded to the Werribee Tigers for an indefinite period for lying to the club and coach Brad Scott about a "night on the town" during a period in which he was recovering from knee surgery.[16][17]

AFL debut edit

In 2013, Daw had an excellent showing in the 2013 NAB Cup, which prompted calls for his inclusion in the Senior Side. When tall forward Robbie Tarrant went down with a thigh injury, Daw was brought in to replace him and make his debut in Round 4 against the Brisbane Lions. In the first minute of the game, Daw marked the ball inside 50, and kicked his first AFL goal with his first AFL kick. However, his debut ended on a sour note when he collided with teammate Ben Cunnington and suffered a concussion before quarter time, and he took no further part in the game. North went on to win the game by 63 points.

Daw held his spot and played the next week, scoring no goals but three behinds against Hawthorn. In Round 7 against the Western Bulldogs, Majak had a breakout performance in just his fourth career game, kicking a game-high 6 goals in North's 54-point win. After the match, North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said of Majak: "'Maj' is a good example of what you can do with really hard work. Hard work trumps talent any day of the week."[18]

2015–present edit

He was delisted in October 2015;[19] however, he was re-drafted in the 2016 rookie draft.[20]

In 2016, Majak Daw won Mark of the Year after taking a specky against Collingwood. Majak played the most games in a season in his career at that point, with nine, in addition to playing in his first final, which was in an elimination final against Adelaide, and kicking four goals despite North Melbourne losing 141–79.

In 2017, after having a season full of injuries and only managing to play seven games in total, at the end of the 2017 AFL season Daw eyed more versatility as an AFL player.

In the 2018 off-season, Daw changed his position from a forward to a defender. Daw sought this change because he thought it was his last chance at thriving in the AFL. Majak played his first game as a defender against Carlton in the AFLX series. Later on in Round 3 against Melbourne, Daw officially played his first game as a defender.

Daw was delisted by North Melbourne at the end of the 2020 AFL season after a mass delisting by North Melbourne which saw 11 players cut from the team's list.[21]

Daw was recruited to the Melbourne Football Club in 2021, playing at VFL-level all that season.

Daw struggled with injury during his time at Melbourne and did not play a senior game for them before announcing his retirement in June 2022. [22]

Statistics edit

Statistics are correct to the end of round 12, 2022[23]
Legend
  G  
Goals
  K  
Kicks
  D  
Disposals 
  T  
Tackles
  B  
Behinds 
  H  
Handballs 
  M  
Marks
H/O
Hit-outs
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
G B K H D M T H/O G B K H D M T H/O
2011 North Melbourne 38 0
2012 North Melbourne 38 0
2013 North Melbourne 38 6 9 8 29 14 43 16 11 28 1.5 1.3 4.8 2.3 7.2 2.7 1.8 4.7
2014 North Melbourne 38 8 6 10 35 24 59 20 27 54 0.8 1.3 4.4 3.0 7.4 2.5 3.4 6.8
2015 North Melbourne 38 2 2 0 8 3 11 4 10 29 1.0 0.0 4.0 1.5 5.5 2.0 5.0 14.5
2016 North Melbourne 38 9 9 12 52 34 86 34 28 72 1.0 1.3 5.8 3.8 9.6 3.8 3.1 8.0
2017 North Melbourne 38 7 4 3 28 20 48 17 23 112 0.6 0.4 4.0 2.9 6.9 2.4 3.3 16.0
2018 North Melbourne 1 18 10 4 135 81 216 95 44 87 0.6 0.2 7.5 4.5 12.0 5.3 2.4 4.8
2019 North Melbourne 1 0
2020[a] North Melbourne 1 4 3 1 17 18 35 9 8 23 0.8 0.3 4.3 4.5 8.8 2.3 2.0 5.8
2021 Melbourne 28 0
2022 Melbourne 28 0
Career 54 43 38 304 194 498 195 151 405 0.8 0.7 5.6 3.6 9.2 3.6 2.8 7.5
  1. ^ The 2020 season was played with 17 home-and-away matches per team (down from 22) and 16-minute quarters with time on (down from 20-minute quarters with time on) due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Personal life edit

On 1 July 2014, Daw was charged with three counts of rape relating to an alleged sexual assault incident in Altona North in 2007. He had been previously arrested and interviewed over the allegations in May 2014. Daw denied the allegations, while North Melbourne stated that he would remain available for selection.[24] On 3 December 2015, Daw was found not guilty on all counts.[25]

On 18 December 2018, Daw abandoned his vehicle on the Bolte Bridge and jumped into the Yarra River 25 metres (82 ft) below. Motorists on the bridge raised the alarm around 11 pm and he was recovered from the river by police and paramedics. He suffered broken hips and pelvis. In July 2019, Daw made a return for the North Melbourne VFL affiliate against Sandringham, the VFL affiliate of St Kilda.[26] Daw made his AFL return on 1 August 2020 in a win against Adelaide, kicking one goal.

References edit

  1. ^ a b Hanlon, Peter (21 June 2009). "Out of Africa, into the team". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  2. ^ Majak Daw inspires young African-born athletes to take to the field by Jonno Nash for the Courier Mail 14 July 2013
  3. ^ a b McFarlane, Glenn (20 February 2011). "Majak Daw's big move". Sunday Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b Mercer, Phil (16 December 2009). "Sudanese Teenager Makes Sports History in Australia". Voice of America. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  5. ^ Gullam, Scott (7 December 2009). "Roos, Dogs believe in Majak". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Majak Daw profile". Australian Football League. 8 December 2009. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  7. ^ Murnane, Jason (14 September 2009). "2010 Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarships announced". AFL Players Association. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Power spring Harding surprise". ABC News (Australia). 15 December 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  9. ^ Mercer, Phil (16 December 2009). "Australian Rules Football picks first black African". BBC News. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  10. ^ Diamond, Brent (17 April 2011). "Majak display nothing short of Daw-some". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  11. ^ Daw is just what the Roos need, The Age, Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  12. ^ Stafford, Andrew (5 June 2011). "Swans crush lame Lions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Daw says abuse made him feel 'small' ". The Age. Melbourne. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  14. ^ Flower, Wayne (6 June 2011). "VFL footy fan banned for season in wake of Majak Daw race abuse". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  15. ^ Langmaid, Aaron; Flower, Wayne (7 June 2011). "Majak Daw hailed for action against racist slur". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  16. ^ Pierik, Jon (9 February 2012). "Sliding Daw: Majak's lies, debts and teammate's ex". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  17. ^ Warner, Michael (9 February 2012). "Majak Daw banned for lying to Roos coach". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  18. ^ Collins, Ben (11 May 2013). "Hype similar, but Daw a long way from Nic Nat: Scott". AFL Website. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  19. ^ Cleary, Mitch; Sutton, Ben (29 October 2015). "Door left ajar for Majak as Roos confirm list changes". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Daw added as rookie". nmfc.com.au. Bigpond. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  21. ^ McGowan, Marc. "Roos' massive cull: North delists ELEVEN after horror season". AFL Media. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Daw announces retirement from AFL".
  23. ^ "Majak Daw". AFL Tables. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  24. ^ "North Melbourne footballer Majak Daw charged with rape". 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  25. ^ Cooper, Adam (3 December 2015). "AFL footballer Majak Daw not guilty of raping 15-year-old girl". The Age. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  26. ^ Le Grand, Chip. "Majak Daw: fame hid pain of AFL trailblazer who tackled two worlds". The Australian. Retrieved 2 July 2019.

External links edit