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100 Games for Spencer Daly

Written by Russell Holmesby.


Spencer Daly readily observes that he has missed a lot of footy.

Reaching the 100 game milestone has extra significance for the 25 year old.

“One season I only had three and a half quarters for the whole season because I did four hamstrings. In 2018 I got back from Europe and the next game I did an ankle really badly with ligament damage that kept me out for the rest of the season. Another year I had four quad injuries - repetitive strains in my dominant leg.”

Despite the setbacks he has been a highly respected player across his time at Bentleigh, acknowledged as having a good football brain as a player and extending that trait to his coaching of the Under-19s.

“The biggest barrier was more a mental barrier. After the 2016 Grand Final, that probably led to my injuries because I didn’t rehab enough. I lost a lot of motivation, enthusiasm and even passion.”

The 2016 Firsts Grand Final was disappointing for everyone in the red and blue colours.

“I was 19 and we got done by 100 points. That was the last year I had any sort of consistency. The difficult part was that I had played every other game with two other mates – Ben Cooper and Jayce Morgan who were my age and they got dropped for the Grand Final. I was pretty proud of myself for staying up, but they got dropped and won a flag in the reserves. So it was bitter/ sweet. We were the youngest there by quite a bit. In hindsight I wouldn’t have minded being dropped!”

The Daly family has never been reluctant to put their shoulders to the wheel at Bentleigh.

“My Dad, Paul was treasurer, he coached me for a few years in the juniors. Whenever he didn’t coach he was the runner or assistant coach or the treasurer. He was always involved. Now, when he’s in Victoria he is always at games and you’ll see him as the runner or the timekeeper.”

Spencer started in Bentleigh’s under-9s and was in the juniors every year at Bentleigh except the under 17s.

“I went to Beaumaris for a year because we didn’t have a team at Bentleigh. When I went to footy training two weeks before the start of the season, we had me and the coach’s son turn up. I was going overseas so I had to make a decision and had to know where I was going. Otherwise I would have been at Bentleigh the whole time.”

That under-17 team Bentleigh team survived through a four way merger.

“I moved to St Bedes for year 11 and 12 and there were about 10 St Bede’s guys who were at Beauy footy club. I wanted to challenge myself by playing first division footy.”

Along the way Spencer has won two best and fairests and captained the under-19s.

That good footy brain is now put to good use as an under-19 coach.

“I hadn’t coached at all and I was overseas with (Liam) Dimma and Dizzy Smith. I put my hand up in 2020, but the season got wiped out.”

He says that coaching the under-19s takes him back to when he was that age.

“It was an enjoyable time in life and any bit of advice you can give they just love it. They see me playing and they realise that I’m not just someone on the sidelines. I really enjoy the coaching. It helps that we have been successful. Going back to that age it’s just positive and a nice environment to be in.”

Away from footy he is back at university and has a year and half of study to complete a teaching degree.

“At the moment I am working in before and after school care to get experience in the schools. Next year I plan to do some casual relief teaching. Because of COVID at the moment you don’t have to be finished your course to do some of that. I’ve always enjoyed being in a leadership position. When I was in juniors I was always a captain or in the leadership group.”

Spencer’s commitment to Bentleigh is unquestioned and bringing up the ton adds to an impressive record.

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