'The Macedonian Marvel'
Born: 20 September 1961
Collingwood 1979 – 1993 (250 games, 549 goals)
Copeland trophy winner 1982, 1988
Collingwood Team of the Century - Forward Pocket
Vice–captain Collingwood 1990 – 1991
Nuts Coventry Award (leading goal kicker) 1981, 1982, 1990 & 1991
The most freakishly gifted player to have played the game. Peter revolutionised the art of goal kicking. From any angle or distance, with a towering torpedo or dribbling the ball along the ground, even while being slung in a tackle, Daics would find a way to get the Sherrin through the big sticks. His career culminating in one moment late in the first quarter of the 1990 Grand Final at a time when the Pies were completely outplaying Essendon in general play, yet the Bombers had found their way in front by virtue of two Paul Salmon goals. Tight agianst the right forward pocket boundary with the oval ball precariously skipping close to the line, he gathered the ball as if he had it on an invisible string,and slapped it on his right boot sending it sailing through the one foot gap that would of been his view of the goals. It was goal 96 for the season and perhaps his most important of his career. It came in a time in his career that if he had of missed, we would have been shocked.
Just weeks earlier he put Collingwood's season back on the rails when West Coast held a six point lead with just seconds left in the match. The scene was VFL Park, Waverley, once again a contested ball on the boundary deep in the Pies forward pocket, Pants scooped up a handball under pressure and Peter runs onto it. With one foot practically out of bounds he slaps the Sherrin on that trusty right boot and the ball dribbles its way through the big ones to give Collingwood a draw and another shot at the West Coast the next weekend and the rest is history.
That goal that paved the path to glory...
At just 184cm, Daics was not the tallest player going around. With his short legs Peter had a very low centre of gravity and this was perfect for outpositioning taller, more physical defenders. Often thrusting out one hand and scooping in a mark just as miraculous as any of the great goals he scored. Many speak of a game Collingwood lost at Arden Street in Peter's early playing career when he owned the third quarter. Playing out of the centre and with the Pies being humiliated by a rampant North, Daics would burst from each centre bounce, ball in hand and with a short dash get to fifty and slam home 6 goals to bring the Pies within a whiff. It is arguably the best 30 minutes of footy ever played by an individual.
Peter's debut was of two extremes. Peter was goaless at full time and his first kick was out of bounds on the full. But the club marched off Victoria Park with a record breaking win over St Kilda. It was 1979 and Peter had just become part of something huge and the Magpies would contest the next three Grand Finals, unfortunately all would be lost.
Injury dogged Peter's career and often at the worst possible times, however in 1990 everything went right. With 95 goals already on the board going into the Grand Final against arch rival Essendon, and just a fortnight after snatching that miraculous leveler from the boundary as described earlier, Peter found himself on the big stage again, almost a decade after Tom Hafey had taken the boys to the ultimate decider in four of his five years. With fellow veterans Tony Shaw and Denis Banks, Peter played his crucial role on that thrilling day to ensure that the elusive cup did not slip from our grasp like it had so often over the previous three decades.
Daics was loved dearly by all at Collingwood and when the day came that the club decided that it was time to hang up the boots, not everyone agreed and perhaps least of all Peter. This left a very bitter taste in everyone's mouth. The club would then plumb the depths of the ladder collecting only it's second wooden spoon and with the creditors banging on the gates of Victoria Park it was dark days indeed. But the club needed to move on and pushing champions out the door has always been the tradition. Unfortunately you can not pin point one single premiership that was one by forcing the experienced players into retirement. When the Colliers were sacked Collingwood went into it's longest drought without a premiership through the 40s. Macca and Thomo got the same treatment and it brought nothing. Peter remains to this day one of the most popular ever Magpie players and anyone growing up in the 80s and earlyu 90s would recall the cry from ever backyard footy match when a kid bends in a miracle goal..."DAAAAAAICOSSSSSS!"
No angle too tight for Mr Magic