- Mar 25, 2014
- AFL Club
DOB: 12 June 1998
Previous Club: Cobden/Xavier College
Summary profile: Big bodied tap ruckman who uses enjoys creating body contact at ruck contests and plays with a physical edge.
SEAN Darcy’s dedicated journey towards an AFL career has been footy’s version of the Amazing Race.
The 18-year-old lives on his family’s 200-acre farm in South Purrumbete just out of Cobden, played for the Geelong Falcons and boarded at Xavier College in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
The logistics were challenging before he got his licence, and involved multiple train rides, overnight stays and generous drivers, but when “footy was the best part of my week”, he just made it happen.
To get to Falcons training, Darcy had to skip his final class of the day, walk to the nearby tram stop, take a 30-minute ride to Southern Cross Station and jump on a train to Geelong, arriving about 5pm.
He then needed a lift from the station — sometimes from his mum, Ann-Maree, if she was in town, sometimes an assistant coach — and would arrive at the Falcons’ Highton training base still in his Xavier uniform.
That night he would stay at his grandparents’ house in Geelong and be off by 6am the following morning to train it back to Melbourne in darkness to be ready for his first class.
Even in weeks when his Xavier APS footy commitments took precedence over the Falcons, he still made the effort to attend at least one training session in Geelong.
The Falcons believe this methodical discipline proves he has the temperament to apply himself to the demands of AFL life.
Darcy, though, doesn’t see what the fuss is about.
“(Footy) is what I want to do, so it’s pretty easy for me to do all that. Footy was the best part of my week, it wasn’t hard to do that at all,” he said.
As a boy growing up 50 minutes from Warrnambool, driving distances for activities city people take for granted was the norm.
Between the ages of six to 16, he was an accomplished state-level junior swimmer and would rise at 4.30am on most school mornings, drive to the big smoke of Warrnambool and hit the water by 6am.
A powerful exponent of 50m freestyle and butterfly, he made several state carnivals and agonisingly missed national selection by 0.2 sec during his prime.
“The travel has come natural to me because I’ve been doing it for so long,” he said.
“You live so far away from a town, so if I’m going to go somewhere, or go to footy training, I know it’s going to be a drive, you know that for sure, so travel is not even a worry.
“I’m used to it. Here (from home) to Geelong is not even a long drive now really.”
Even since this season finished, Darcy has been clocking up serious kilometres, but at least he can now drive himself.
Three times a week he makes the 90-minute, 115km trip from South Purrumbete to Geelong for pre-season training with the 2017 Falcons training squad.
On off days he drives to Camperdown for privately arranged personal training sessions, steeling himself physically and mentally for, hopefully, day one of AFL pre-season.
“He’s been really dedicated,” Falcons talent manager Michael Turner said.
“Good attitude, can win the footy, good decision making, has got really good skills, a beautiful left foot kick, he can go forward.”
Darcy’s unique arrangements mean he was eligible to play at North Ballarat, Oakleigh Chargers or the Falcons.
Technically he lives in a North Ballarat catchment, but having started at the Falcons as an under-16 player before the TAC Cup boundaries were recently redrawn, he applied to remain a Falcon.
THERE is a video package doing the rounds of the day Darcy emerged as the best tap ruckman in the TAC Cup.
It’s a compilation of some of Darcy’s 40 hit-outs against the Murray Bushrangers in Round 9 in Craigieburn.
Midfielder Cassidy Parish, younger brother of Essendon’s Darcy Parish, has never had such silver service. Darcy had a point to prove that day.
In the days prior he had been overlooked for selection in Vic Country. Puzzling, he felt, not necessarily because he was hard done by, but because they had not selected too many big blokes.
He sought out AFL Victoria high performance manager Leon Harris and passionately mounted his case.
“I get along with Leon well. I missed out on the first game and I said, ‘what do I need to do to play the next game?’,” Darcy said.
“I really wanted to play. I probably wasn’t good around the contest and he said, ‘you need to improve around the contest, but however we know you’re a good player, so if you play well this week, there’s a possibility that you could get picked in the next game’.”
He played the next three matches for Vic Country, matching it against the best ruckmen in the draft and instantly draw comparisons to Shane Mumford through his pure size and aggression.
“It would be unreal to be drafted,” he said, with 13 clubs having already made contact.
“You play footy to play at the highest level, so to get that opportunity to play footy professionally would be surreal, that’s what you want to do, it’s what you aim to do.
“If it was to happen, that would be great.”
Drafted from: Geelong Falcons
DOB: 12 June 1998 (18)
Sean Darcy is a ruckman from Camperdown, Victoria.
Darcy boarded at Xavier College in Melbourne and faced of a lot of travel while combining his school footy with his Geelong Falcons footy in the TAC Cup.
Performing well at both levels, Darcy was soon representing Vic Country and shining at the U18 Championships.
While Darcy possesses terrific physical strength and competitiveness to match, it was his craft and touch that was most impressive in his ruck work and he regularly fed his midfield brigade, giving his on-ballers first class service out of the middle.
At TAC level Darcy won the tap at 71 per cent of his ruck contests, which was clearly number one for ruckmen in the competition and he put an impressive 32 per cent of those to advantage, placing him second for ruckmen in the competition.
Darcy was also the dominant big man at national level, wining 72 per cent of all his ruck contests and putting 26 per cent of those to advantage at the U18 Championships. Darcy also has the ability to take a big grab and he showed that in a school representative game kicking four goals in a ruck/forward role.
Aggressive when needed, Darcy doesn't mind being physical and throwing his weight around, which can result in some big hits. He is an intelligent young man that has a huge amount of upside with his football as his running ability continues to develop.