FOR South Purrumbete’s Sean Darcy, AFL Draft night packed a wonderful surprise.
The 202cm ruckman was one of the draft’s big risers, smashing his own expectations when he was selected at pick 38 by Fremantle.
“I talked to my manager two days ago and he’s like, ‘Oh, they’ll probably pick you in the later bit of the draft, like 70-odd’,” Darcy said.
“But pick 38 – it’s unbelievable, to be honest. I’m really happy.”
With his parents Greg and Ann-Maree and brothers Xavier and Liam following the draft on television in the living room, Darcy was watching by himself in another room when his name was read out far earlier than he anticipated, prompting much delighted yelling.
Darcy, a Cobden football product, will fly out to Perth on Sunday, where he will move in with legendary Dockers big man Aaron Sandilands for his first four weeks in Western Australia.
“He’s great – he’s been the best ruckman in the last 12 years,” Darcy said.
“Because I play in the same position, (I’m looking forward to meeting) him in particular.
“It’s a big move, but boarding school has put me in (good) stead for living out of home. I might miss my parents and family a little bit, but I’m really excited.”
It will be a whirlwind transition for Darcy, who on Monday will get to meet his new teammates and coaches.
But the ecstatic 18-year-old said he was ready to launch into his new life and put in the hard work over pre-season.
“It’ll be a lot of hard work – I’ll be very tired, I can tell you that,” Darcy said with a laugh.
“(I’m) just expecting to work as hard as I can over the off-season and try to impress my teammates, try to earn some respect off them because they don’t know anything, really, about me.”
The diligent teen is now reaping the rewards for his efforts after deciding to forgo a career in swimming and make football his focus when he moved to Xavier College in Melbourne two years ago.
Darcy thanked his coaches at Cobden, particularly Marty Darcy, Grant Smith and Tim McGlade, who he said had been “unbelievable” for his development during his junior career.