Collingwood ace Nick Daicos doesn't like the Brownlow Medal spotlight.
"I don't want all that attention," Daicos has said.
"I try to deflect it to the team because I genuinely feel like I'm not the player I am without them.
"I do get very uncomfortable with the spotlight."
But Daicos, the son of Collingwood legend Peter, has no choice on Monday night at the AFL's Brownlow Medal count.
The 20-year-old is the central character - he was near odds-on favourite to win after a season of sustained excellence.
Daicos then hurt a knee and missed the last three games, a late absence setting up the medal count as a thriller.
The injury also served as a distraction for the rising star amid the hype around his medal chances.
"I've been so focused on getting back and on my knee, and that's consumed me so much during the finals," Daicos told reporters on Sunday.
"Now I'm back, we're through to a grand final. All my focus is set on how I can best prepare for Saturday.
"There might be a little bit of nerves tomorrow going and actually being there with all the players and experiencing it all.
"I'm sure as soon as it's done I'll be ready to prepare for Saturday either way."
Daicos would become the youngest medallist since a 20-year-old Gavin Wanganeen won in Essendon's famous 1993 premiership season.
The second-season Magpie marvel is expected to lead vote-getters until his injury and contend for as many as 10 best-afield nominations during his golden patch.
But the Western Bulldogs' perennial poller Marcus Bontempelli, who has already won a second AFL Players Association MVP award, could finish with a flourish.
Bontempelli, who polled 33 votes in 2021, three behind Port Adelaide's Ollie Wines, was in eye-catching form early and late despite his Dogs missing the finals.
Some bookmakers still have Daicos the $2.80 favourite ahead of Bontempelli at $3.
Brisbane's Lachie Neale, the 2020 medallist, is rated a definite chance amid forecasts of as many as eight best-on-ground displays in the Lions' successful season.
Another traditionally strong poller, Melbourne's Christian Petracca, is also among contenders after yet another brilliant season.
Petracca polled 24 votes last year and his teammate Clayton Oliver polled 25.
This year, Petracca won't lose as many votes to Oliver, who missed 11 weeks because of a nasty hamstring injury.
Port's Zak Butters is also among the fancies, moving to the midfield elite in eye-catching style - the 23-year-old was unstoppable mid-season during the Power's club-record 13-game winning streak.
Butters won the AFL Coaches' Association champion player award, polling 17 out of a possible 20 votes in the last two rounds to overtake Daicos, but teammate Connor Rozee could pinch Brownlow votes.
All Australian captain Toby Greene, Adelaide skipper Jordan Dawson, Sydney winger Errol Gulden and Richmond recruit Tim Taranto all loom as top-10 finishers according to bookmakers.
Australian Associated Press