Sam Darcy is officially a Western Bulldogs player, continuing a proud family tradition at VU Whitten Oval.
The Bulldogs matched the GWS Giants’ bid at pick two in the NAB AFL Draft on Wednesday, securing the exciting 205cm key position prospect as a father/son selection.
The Darcy name will now be directly tied to the Bulldogs in three straight generations – a rarity in the modern game.
Sam’s father Luke played 226-games in the red, white and blue, including winning the Charles Sutton Medal and holding the captaincy, while his grandfather David, who passed away in 2020, played 133 games for the Dogs between 1963-71.
Sam had long been tied to the Bulldogs throughout 2021, with the Club maneuvering their draft selections to ensure they could cover an early bid from another club.
They’ve secured a player that draft pundits widely viewed as the best key position player in the Draft pool, despite the covid-19 pandemic limiting Darcy and his peers to only a handful of games in 2021.
In those games, Darcy showed glimpses of his prodigious talent at either end of the ground, booting six goals in one game for Vic Metro in an under 19s trial game, or intercepting at will as a key defender in others.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Sam to the Club, and we look forward to him having a long and successful career in the red, white and blue,” said Bulldogs’ National Recruiting Manager, Dom Milesi.
“It’s fantastic to have another generation of Darcy join the Club. It’s a special moment for the family, and for all Bulldogs members and fans.
“Despite the family lineage and our ability to draft him as a father/son selection, we picked Sam knowing his athletic traits and ability to be a versatile option will add greatly to our playing list.
“He is an outstanding character who is competitive and driven to get the best out of himself and those around him, so we believe he’ll fit in seamlessly with our current group.
“However, while we know the upside Sam has as a footballer, we understand these young players haven’t been exposed to a lot of football over the last couple of seasons, so we’ll need to be patient and set the right expectations.”
Darcy enjoyed a training stint with the Bulldogs earlier this year, and split his time playing with Oakleigh Chargers and Scotch College during the heavily interrupted season.
He averaged 16 disposals, 6.3 marks and six hit outs in his three NAB League outings in 2021.
"He's a unique talent, this boy," said AFL talent ambassador Kevin Sheehan.
"He's like the King boys. In the air, Max King, Ben King; he's very special.
"The angles he comes from, he's courageous under the ball and just about every spot you can take a mark he does it.
"He's mobile and kicks the ball very, very well so he's got all the hallmarks.
"It might take time, but Bulldogs supporters are getting an absolute beauty."
Darcy’s addition to the Bulldogs’ playing list means he joins five other current players whose fathers also played for the Club – Mitch Wallis, Tom Liberatore, Lachie Hunter, Zaine Cordy and Rhylee West, while Issy Grant was one of the first father/daughter selections in the AFLW competition.