Big praise ahead of a big man’s 50th

Sean Darcy has taken his game to another level in 2021 and, according to development coach Adam Read, the 22-year-old’s achievements are even more impressive when taking his age into account.

The ruckman is set to play his 50th game when Fremantle play Sydney on Saturday night and he has already amassed 1346 hitouts at an average of 27.5 per game.

Darcy’s continued to develop year on year playing a role that is traditionally dominated by the most experienced players.

Only Adelaide’s Reilly O’Brien has enjoyed as fast a rise as a ruck with 1350 hitouts after 46 career games, but O’Brien turns 26 this season compared to Darcy, who turns 23 in June.

Read said it was easy to forget how young Darcy was compared to his direct opponents on game day.

“The thing that gets forgotten about Sean, because he’s such a big man, is that he’s still a young man,” Read told Sport FM.

“When (he) came into the league (at) 19 or 20 and going up against Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn and maybe even Shane Mumford, he’s holding your own and doing a good job.

“Sometimes it can be forgotten that he’s still a young man in the early parts of his career.”

Earlier this season against Hawthorn, Darcy achieved an AFL first by becoming the first AFL player to have 10+ hitouts to advantage, 5+ contested marks and 3+ goals in a game.

As well as significantly improving his hitouts to advantage, Darcy has improved in the contest with an average of four clearances per game in 2021 compared to two per game in 2020.

“He’s only going to get better if he continues to bring a great attitude and work rate which he’s shown,” Read said.

“He’s a competitive man and doesn’t like to be beaten and he’s shown that so far this year.”