Nick Dal Santo joins AFL Academy coaching staff

FORMER North Melbourne and St Kilda footballer Nick Dal Santo as been named as one of the new coaches for the NAB AFL Academy.

Dal Santo, who finished his AFL career in 2016 after 322 games, will be the specialist kicking coach as the 2017 Level two academy head off to Northern Territory this weekend.

2017 AFL ACADEMY SQUADS

Dal Santo will coach alongside Brisbane Lions three-time premiership player Luke Power, who was announced as the new head coach in October, taking over from Brenton Sanderson who will work as an assistant coach under Nathan Buckley at Collingwood.

Dal Santo this morning announced that he would be taking up a role with the AFL Academy at La Trobe University’s athlete well being breakfast put on together with the AFL Players’ Association.

During his playing career, Dal Santo developed a kicking academy – in his name. The academy specialises in the area of kicking, involving specific analysis and skill development.

Dal Santo’s exquisite left boot was one of his strengths and he believes that it is an area of focus that needs to be addressed.

“I always though kicking wasn’t touched on enough,” Dal Santo said.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement.”

Dal Santo himself was apart of the intake of the NAB AFL Academy back in 1999 and in more recent times has worked with possible number one draft pick Andrew McGrath on his kicking.

MATT BALMER’S FINAL 2016 AFL DRAFT RANKINGS

McGrath lived in the same street as the 322-gamer and spent the summer working on his kicking with him.

McGrath told the Herald Sun in June that the experience was valuable.

“We met up a few times and I really improved,” McGrath said.

“I learnt little tips he uses at North Melbourne. One was not getting off the mark as far.”

With kicking an important area for recruiters, Dal Santo’s influence on the NAB AFL Academy will be a vital one.

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