Toast ND Pick #38 - Sean Darcy

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Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2015
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AFL Club
Fremantle
Name: Sean Darcy
Position: Ruck
Height: 202cm
Weight: 101kg
DOB: 12 June 1998
Club: Geelong Falcons/Vic Country
Player Comparison: Shane Mumford



DRAFT PROFILE

WHEN you are 201cm and 113kg as a 17 year-old, it is hard not to be noticed and in Sean Darcy’s case, he has certainly done his draft chances no harm this season. The monster ruck has thrown his weight around in the TAC Cup and National Under 18s Championships, easily beating nearly any opponent thrown his way. When most teenage rucks are less than 90kg, a 20kg plus advantage makes the world of difference.

Darcy is a man mountain who is probably the best tap ruckman of the draft crop, but this is mostly due to his pure size. The one aspect holding Darcy back from being talked about in the same light as top 10 pick Tim English and Sandringham Dragons ruck Lachlan Filipovic is his lack of influence around the ground. Not surprisingly, when you are carrying the weight that Darcy is, movement is not a strong suit and his lack of endurance and athleticism currently holds him back from being a dominant figure in the competition.

He has no problem averaging more than 30 hitouts a game and can have an impact forward with a strong overhead mark, but most of his work is around the stoppages. Unfortunately for Darcy, AFL clubs are looking for prototype rucks who can cover the ground well and work just as hard defensively as offensively.

Even the likes of Shane Mumford, for whom Darcy is often compared to due to size, has had to alter his game to fit in with the new athletic types who are gracing the modern game. While it is not easy to build too much endurance and athleticism without losing a bulk of the strength he has built up, Darcy could forgo a bit of weight to move around the ground more effectively.

In saying this, Darcy is mostly pure muscle, which is what works to his advantages when one-on-one because he is hard to move and hard to beat at throw ins. Rucks try and take advantage of Darcy at ball ups because he cannot push them out of the contest, but the big man also has a good vertical jump, which is what sets him apart from most lumbering rucks.

Overall, Darcy is undoubtedly set to be a rookie prospect which clubs can develop into a strong first ruck. He will take a lot less time than other rucks to come on, it will just be a case of whether he can increase his mobility enough to become an effective all-round ruck.

Strengths:
  • Vertical leap
  • Strength
  • Tap work
Darcy’s strengths come as no surprise for a 201cm, 113kg ruck. His greatest attributes are his strength and tap work, while his vertical leap is also impressive and helps him counter more athletic rucks he faces. There is no doubt that Darcy will more often than not get his hand to it first and give his midfielders first opportunity, and over time opposition players will learn to read his taps.

Darcy is a unique prospect because while most rucks coming into the AFL system do not develop for four or more years, he is ready to slot into a line-up if required. But of course the improvements will need to be made to run out full games, which will be discussed shortly. In terms of disposal, Darcy is neither here nor there given he averages just nine disposals a game, but with a disposal efficiency of 69 per cent, he is solid for a ruck. He also averaged more than three tackles per game in both the TAC Cup and National Under 18s Championships which would please recruiters.

In the pre-season testing, Darcy ranked in the top 20 for vertical leap of all TAC Cup players, and is likely to test well again at the National Combine. With other tests unlikely to flatter the big man, it is one area where he is likely to excel, recording a 72cm jump at the start of the season. As a whole, Darcy has more than enough to work with as his foundations are strong enough he could develop into a first ruck.

Improvements:
  • Endurance
  • Athleticism
  • Predictability
Much like his strengths, Darcy’s weaknesses are also stock standard for a player of his size. With low endurance and lack of athleticism stopping him from being a more complete player, it is these qualities that could make or break his career.

As it stands, Darcy recorded one of the lowest beep tests and his 20 metres sprint, while not slow for his size, was still lower than most. I would not imagine that clubs are expecting him to suddenly sprint 20 metres in less than three seconds, but an endurance base would be a non-negotiable. If you are going to be a number one ruck, you have to be able to run out 80 per cent of AFL games.

His lack of athleticism can often hurt going the other way, because if the opposition team win the ball, his opposition ruck can get clear and find space inside 50 faster than Darcy more often than not and at AFL level that could be deadly. He will need to work on tactics to match it with other rucks, particularly if he comes up against a Nic Naitanui who not only has a freakish amount of athleticism, but a huge vertical jump, which would cause all sorts of headaches for Darcy.

Finally, another improvement Darcy should make is his predictability at throw ins. Given Darcy will almost always win the hitout around the ground at throws in, opposition midfielders automatically read his taps rather than bothering to assume their ruck will win the ball. This becomes somewhat predictable for the opposition team, so Darcy will need to develop more strategies to cope with this, but that will all come with development at an AFL club.

Summary:

Sean Darcy is one of a few rucks likely to be taken in the drafts this year. While he might not end up in the National AFL Draft, I imagine he will be taken as a rookie. However if a club believes he could be a future number one ruck and the athleticism is something that can be worked on, then he might be snaffled with one of the last picks in the National AFL Draft.

He has the frame to play AFL and once he builds his tank and learns strategies to overcome his lack of athleticism, Darcy could slot into a side as a key ruck.

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FD2646

Club Legend
Sep 11, 2008
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Will be interesting to see if he can run out the game tonight......early days but I have been impressed with the small amount he has shown to date.
 

DaveLister

Club Legend
Feb 17, 2016
2,842
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Just in case anyone had forgotten how impressive lad was, here are his 8 game 'career' ruck stats as compared to our illustrious Sandi

Chubby 19 year old, no one is really ready for how good he could become.
 

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