He’s one of the most recognisable faces in the AFL but it appears West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui is a virtual unknown on the Gold Coast.
Naitanui has become accustomed to being constantly stopped by fans all around the country – he was once even pulled over by a WA police officer wanting an autograph.
But it seems like things are different in the south-east of Queensland, where West Coast will spend the next four weeks due to border restrictions in their home state.
“It’s pretty funny. We went down to Coles this morning with Nic and no one knew him,” teammate Josh Kennedy said on Tuesday.
“So Nic was pretty happy that he can go and do his shopping without anyone pestering him.
“I think he’s going to love it.”
West Coast arrived at Gold Coast’s Royal Pines Resort on Monday before Saturday night’s clash with the Suns at Metricon Stadium.
Liam Ryan, Tim Kelly, and Tom Hickey have brought their families along with them to the hub, but about a dozen other Eagles players have not.
Kennedy said talking to his two daughters on Monday night via FaceTime made the situation hit home.
“I just said that I’ve gone away for work for a while. I don’t think they’ve really got it,” Kennedy told Perth radio station 6PR.
“Sage last night went to (my wife) Lauren and said, ‘Where’s dad?’ So she had no idea.
“I said a big goodbye in the car but she still had no idea that I’m away. She’s two-and-a-half.”
Eagles duo Mark Hutchings (knee) and Jarrod Cameron (pubic bone) will be unavailable for selection against the Suns, while Willie Rioli (ASADA provisional suspension) is expected to miss the entire season.