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David Zaharakis

Age: 31yr 5mth    Games: 223     Born: February 21, 1990     Origin: Northern Knights
Height: 180cm     Weight: 79kg     Position: Forward
Last Drafted: Round 2, Pick #23 2008 National Draft by Essendon Bombers
Supercoach Price: $322,100   Supercoach Profile
AFL Fantasy Price: $454,000   AFL Fantasy Profile
Contract Status: UFA at the end of 2021   AFL Player Contracts
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David Zaharakis Biography

Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Zach Merrett is among a host of changes to the Bombers' 2020 leadership group, with wantaway forward Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia also cut from the squad.

The complete overhaul will see four fresh faces serve under captain Dyson Heppell in the five-man group this year including Devon Smith, Dylan Shiel, David Zaharakis and Michael Hurley.

"It's just a good opportunity to reflect on your leadership style. I know last year I wasn't in the group but I think my leadership grew throughout the year," Hurley said.

"I saw things slightly differently, became a bit of a conduit for some of the players who weren't in the leadership group and some of the younger players. Zach will find ways to grow. He's a smart young guy, driven, so I think his leadership will continue to grow and we'll see him as a leader in the future."

Monday, 19 August 2019
David Zaharakis looks set to miss the rest of the 2019 season due to a syndesmosis injury he suffered against Fremantle which will require surgery.
Monday, 4 June 2018
David Zaharakis will miss at least the next six weeks after scans revealed he will need surgery on the sternoclavicular joint of his shoulder.

The Essendon midfielder was crunched in a Toby Nankervis tackle in the opening term of the Bombers' heavy loss to Richmond on Saturday night and sat out the rest of the game.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017
David Zaharakis ignores free agency to re-sign with the Bombers until the end of 2021.

"It's fantastic to get the contract finalised on the eve of what will hopefully be a very exciting finals series for us," Zaharakis said.

"Essendon has been such a significant part of my life for a long time. I grew up barracking for the Bombers, and over the past nine years I've been able to live my childhood dream."

Sunday, 11 June 2017
David Zaharakis says he is waiting for the AFL's new collective bargaining agreement to be finalised before signing a new contract.

"The reason why I haven't signed or anything is more the fact the CBA hasn't been done yet," Zaharakis said.

"A lot of players are in the same boat where we're still waiting for that to be finalised, and you still don't know what all that (means) in terms of contracts and money and all that stuff for next year."

Thursday, 20 April 2017
Essendon is confident young stars Joe Daniher and Darcy Parish will sign new contracts once the AFL's industrial dispute is resolved.

David Zaharakis's deal also runs out at this season but Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro is confident the CBA stoush is all that is stopping the trio from inking new deals.

"Player agents do like to wait, and they like to make sure that they maximise everything, and that's fair enough - they've got to look after themselves and their client," Dodoro said.

"There's a couple of contracts that are on hold at the moment until the CBA comes out, and you have to respect that."

Tuesday, 31 January 2017
David Zaharakis will become a free agent at the end of the season, but the Essendon midfielder says there is no timeline on when he may re-sign with the Bombers.

"Every year players either get it done early or wait until the end of the year, and that doesn't determine whether you stay at the footy club or not," Zaharakis said.

"For me it doesn't really matter when it gets done – if it gets done in the next month or two or if it gets done at the end of the year.

"That can all come to the fore when it does and it's not going to bother me. It won't hang over my head if it gets done later or earlier."

Tuesday, 2 August 2016
David Zaharakis says he is trying to "embrace" being tagged after conceding he lost the mental battle to overcome close-checking from opponents earlier in the season.

Zaharakis started the campaign on fire, averaging just under 30 touches across the opening seven rounds, but became a target for run-with players in a Bombers midfield missing Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.

"First of all you have to embrace it. If you go out there and don't embrace it and you say 'Why me?' you're going to be in all sorts during the game," Zaharakis said.

"Probably against Freo, probably the worst game of the year for me, there was definitely a change in mindset after that game about how I deal with a tag.

"That was probably one where I went out there and isolated myself a little bit and I've learnt a lot from that game.

"You've got embrace it, you've got a challenge as a one-on-one to beat that player, and I've learnt a few little tricks by speaking to a couple of people.

"You can't just run away from a tag … you've got to try and lose them in a contest."

Wednesday, 30 March 2016
David Zaharakis says it's important Essendon players remain in contact with their suspended teammates, especially as the banned dozen enter the most difficult phase of their time out of the game so far.

"There were a few guys that I chatted to last week, and obviously coming into round one that's when it really hits you that you're not playing," Zaharakis said.

"They're mates, so you can talk to them about how they're feeling and how they're going. A couple of guys came up to the Gold Coast and watched us, which was great for them to be able to do that. Other guys were away but still watched the game.

"This is a hard time for them when [we're] actually playing games and they're missing footy."

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Emerging Bombers Zach Merrett and Joe Daniher have been named in the club's rejigged leadership group, which will feature rotating top-up players throughout the season.

Essendon was forced to change its leadership group when five members – captain Jobe Watson, vice-captain Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley – were suspended for the season for anti-doping breaches.

The remaining two members of the group that was announced in December, Brendon Goddard and Mark Baguley, have taken on the respective captain and vice-captaincy duties this year.

The bans left several vacancies, with Merrett, Daniher and James Gwilt added to leadership positions, and David Zaharakis reinstalled into the leadership group after being cut at the end of last season.

"Obviously development of our youngsters is a bit of a priority this year so it makes sense that we've got a couple of younger players who are held in pretty high regard by the group and they're emerging leaders," Essendon football manager Rob Kerr.

"Given the circumstances and given the exposure to the full leadership repertoire and what's involved in the senior leadership group level will no doubt hold them in good stead and fast-track their progress."

Thursday, 21 January 2016
The AFL's Multicultural Program will expand to 18 player ambassadors in 2016 and will also include two female players.

Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Darcy Vescio will be joined in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s Game by Brisbane Lions Vice Captain Dayne Zorko, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Fremantle’s Tendai Mzundu, Gold Coast SUNS players Adam Saad and Tom Nicholls, Sydney Swan Aliir Aliir and Western Bulldogs player Jason Johannisen.

The new additions in 2016 join existing Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors David Zaharakis (Essendon), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn), Shem Tatupu (Hawthorn), Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Nic Naitanui (West Coast) and Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs).

“The expanded list of 18 ambassadors, representing 13 AFL Clubs and two female Clubs, will play a crucial role in raising cultural understanding, inclusion and participation at all levels of Australian Football,” AFL General Manager Game and Market Development Simon Lethlean said.

Saturday, 5 December 2015
David Zaharakis' individual pre-season training camp to Boulder, Colorado in the United States has the Bomber confident he can rebound strongly from a disappointing 2015 season.

The midfielder revealed it was his prerogative to spend two weeks, by himself, in the world-renowned high-altitude training zone, located 40km northwest of Denver.

"I went over there for two weeks by myself and got away and did some training to make sure my body's right," Zaharakis said.

"I didn't have a good year with injuries and form so I just wanted to give myself the best opportunity to perform next year."

Saturday, 21 February 2015
David Zaharakis has returned to Essendon's leadership group, in one of three additions to the squad for this season.

The midfielder was left out of last year's group but has been voted back in after working hard during the season to improve his leadership.

All Australian defender Cale Hooker and veteran forward Paul Chapman have been included in the Bombers' group for the first time, joining Zaharakis as the new faces.

Captain Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Brent Stanton, David Myers and Dyson Heppell make up the eight-man team.

"All three players really proved themselves as leaders around the club over the past 12 months, and to be voted in by your peers is a huge show of confidence in their leadership," Watson said.

"'Hooksy', 'Chappy' and 'Zacka' will all bring a unique and versatile skill set to the leadership group; while as a collective, we will continue to drive the standards we expect of our teammates."

Sunday, 13 July 2014
David Zaharakis says it was frustrating dealing with criticism and speculation during his run of poor form earlier in the year.

"They were saying 'You don't care about the club any more', and 'He wants to leave the club' and I hated that," Zaharakis said.

"It doesn't mean I'm not trying my best to play good footy each week. They think they know what you're thinking, and I was trying my hardest to play good footy.

"I wasn't caring about the leadership group and people are saying 'You've gone backwards, you're angry about the club' and all this, and really I was just trying my best. Over the last seven weeks it's proven that I've come back into form and I was always trying to play good footy, but I just couldn't. It had nothing to do with the leadership group."

Friday, 18 April 2014
David Zaharakis says he supports the idea of playing football on Good Friday.

"I reckon it would be great," Zaharakis said.

"In the future, it would be awesome to play on Good Friday. It's a special day and to be able to play in front of a big crowd … and to add another one to the calendar would be awesome for a player."

Wednesday, 19 March 2014
David Zaharakis signs a three-year deal with the Bombers that will keep him at the club until the end of 2017.

"I'm proud to play for this great football club, I've supported the Bombers since I was a young boy so to re-sign for a further three years, I couldn't be happier," Zaharakis said.

"All parties were keen to settle my contract before round one and I'm looking forward to the season starting on Friday night and hopefully helping the team win our first four points of the season."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014
David Zaharakis says he is keen to sign a new deal with the Bombers.

"Hopefully the right thing happens in the end and we get it sorted as soon as we can," Zaharakis said.

"I love the footy club and you'd always want to play at a footy club you've barracked for."

Wednesday, 31 July 2013
In an interview with Channel 7, ex-Essendon fitness coach reveals that David Zaharakis was the only player not to have been part of the club's injections program, a claim confirmed by Zaharakis' manager Scott Lucas.

"It makes things a bit easier," Lucas said.

"It has been a different conversation with David from us to him as a result of that.

"When there's been talk of potential penalties [to players], the very essence of that is that it doesn't apply to David."

Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Essendon says they are being cautious with David Zaharakis to ensure he is fit for round one.

"I think they've worked him really hard at training and given him big minutes of hard work, but just didn't want to risk him in a full game until he was right," Essendon football manager Danny Corcoran said.

"He's such an important player for us. [Last year when he returned] he couldn't kick flat out, so we want him to kick flat out and to get ready for round one."

Friday, 1 March 2013
Essedon coach James Hird says David Zaharakis will have to prove his fitness to be selected for round one.

"David's a very talented player. He's obviously got to play to a standard, he can't come in and not get near the footy," Hird said.

"But I think David's at the standard that if he puts in enough work between now and round one, he's definitely in line for selection. But no one gets a gold pass. David has to actually prove his fitness and play some good footy too."

Tuesday, 29 January 2013
David Zaharakis is in doubt for the NAB Cup after straining his quad muscle.

"It is not a severe injury so we are hoping he will see some NAB Cup action and be right for round one," Essendon football manager Danny Corcoran said.

"It is a different injury to last time but it is grade one and he will miss two to three weeks."

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Brendan Goddard along with Jason Winderlich and Dyson Heppell, is elevated into the Bomber's leadership group which also includes reigning Brownlow medallist and captain Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton, Heath Hocking, Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Essendon midfielder David Zaharakis could miss another three to four weeks as his quad injury fails to improve.

Zaharakis is just one of many Essendon players to be out of action with soft tissue injuries following a tough pre-season.

"We needed to do that to compete at AFL level. Over the last couple of years we haven't been the fittest or the strongest side," Zaharakis said.

"It gets a bit ridiculous that we've got 21 soft tissue injuries for the year."

Sunday, 10 June 2012
The Bombers confirm that their star midfielder David Zaharakis will miss at least a month after tearing his quadricep at training during a kicking drill.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
After winning Essendon's best and fairest in 2011, David Zaharakis has found the going tough so far this season due to increased attention from the opposition.

"My form's been a bit quiet," Zaharakis said.

"It's just about me coping with more attention that I'm getting out on the field. I've got to work with the coaches and deal with that and hopefully I can pick it up a bit more."

Monday, 12 March 2012
David Zaharakis is embracing his role as a leader at Essendon.

"You get voted into the leadership group by what you're doing, so you don't want to change it too much," he said.

"Me and Hurls (Michael Hurley) have come in at this young age. It was a great feeling to get voted into the leadership group so I'm taking full responsibility of it."

Monday, 10 October 2011
Essendon has re-signed best-and-fairest winner David Zaharakis to a new three-year deal while teammate Travis Colyer has also agreed to a deal that will keep him at the Bombers up till 2013.

"We feel both David and Travis will have a strong role to play in Essendon's next period of sustained success and we are obviously very pleased to have them commit to the club," Essendon football manager Paul Hamilton said.

"Both players have improved dramatically this season - including David winning his first Crichton medal in only his third season of football - and we feel they both can develop further over the next two years to establish themselves as integral members of the Essendon midfield."

Saturday, 8 October 2011
David Zaharakis wins Essendon's best and fairest award after polling 332 votes ahead of Brent Stanton with 313 votes.

"David has had an outstanding year this season and has developed into a really important player for the team," Essendon coach James Hird said.

"David was able to spend more time through the midfield this year and to his credit, made the most of every opportunity. He has an incredible work ethic and an abundance of talent and to have a Crichton Medal to his name after only three seasons at the club is a sign of things to come."

Sunday, 17 January 2010
Young Bomber David Zaharakis hopes to continue to improve in his second year of AFL football in 2010.

"First year you don't really have any expectations, but second year all those expectations can creep up on you if you have a reasonable first season. I don't feel a lot of pressure at the moment, but I just want to have a consistent second year," Zaharakis said.

"That's been a big goal of mine and I'm really putting my head down to get in the senior side and stay there consistently."

Saturday, 25 April 2009
Young Bomber David Zaharakis made the most important split-second decision of his life to steal an Anzac Day classic after kicking the match-winning goal against the Magpies with just seconds left in the game.

"You do stuff like that about a thousand times a day as a kid, but for my first goal in AFL footy to be the winner on Anzac Day is just amazing," Zaharakis said after the win.

"Being an Essendon supporter you dream about kicking the winning goal after the siren in any game, but to do it on Anzac Day is just unbelievable.

"I'm still kicking myself. It hasn't sunk in and I don't think it will for a while. I won't even sleep tonight that's for sure."

Tuesday, 7 April 2009
An excellent debut from David Zaharakis has earned him the Round 2 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.

Zaharakis notched 21 disposals playing on a wing including 17 kicks, 10 marks, four tackles as well as a match high seven inside-50s.

Friday, 6 March 2009
Essendon will get another look at its next generation of talent when teenagers Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis play their first games for the club tonight.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Teenager David Zaharakis will debut for Essendon less than a week after the death of his former girlfriend.
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