K rock Football

AFL Dream almost a reality for Darcy

St Mary’s junior Darcy Chirgwin. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

DARCY Chrigwin thought his AFL dream was in tatters.

As he lay on the turf of Sandringham’s Trevor Barker Beach Oval in late January having just suffered two breaks in his fibula and a dislocated ankle in a training mishap, the 17-year-old’s mind was in a whirl as he pondered what the future held.

“The pain of thinking I was going to miss out on my draft chance and miss out on the year was stronger than the pain of a broken leg,” Chirgwin said.

“It was horrible, but I got through and waited to see all the results.

“It was probably a good experience in that you have to get back from injuries in a football career, so I’ve shown to clubs that I can be resilient and get back to form.”

Get back to form he did.

Playing with Sandringham Dragons in the NAB League while attending Melbourne Grammar on a scholarship for his VCE years, Chirgwin returned to the field in June with school and later that month with the Dragons.

He was then was part of Vic Country’s grand final team at the under-18 National Championships in July.

“With Sandy, with Vic Country, and even Melbourne Grammar, the resources they had for me were really good,” he said.

“I knew if I wanted to put in the work, I could get back and have an impact on 2019. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew with my head down and bum up, I could get back and show my wares.”

AFL DRAFT: MEASURED APPROACH FOR CLARK

A junior at GFL club St Mary’s where his dad Darren played in a senior premiership, and a student at St Joseph’s College, Chirgwin represented the Geelong Falcons at under-15 and under-16 level as a key position player.

However, at 191cm, he worked out pretty quickly when he arrived at Sandringham that he would need to find a new role.

“I was going up against boys like Max and Ben King for centre half-forward and centre half-back, and that wasn’t going to happen,” Chirgwin.

“So, I had to be able to adapt and play different positions. I got put on the wing, which is a position I’d never played before.

“That was an unreal stepping stone for me because it allowed me to learn to play in the midfield. That’s my strength now.

“It contrasts with what I was doing a couple of years ago, but I’ve got heaps of scope for improvement because I only played a little bit of midfield in my junior career.

“I know I’ve got a lot to learn in that position, but I think I’ve shown my hand reasonably well.”

A Cats fan, Chirgwin hopes to follow in the footsteps of grandfather Brian, who managed eight goals from three appearances in the Hoops in 1966.

“He’s been unreal for me. He comes and watches every game when he’s not away on holidays,” Chirgwin said.

“He’s been a great support. He’s never said a bad word about my football and is the most biased supporter you’ll ever see.

“He’d love to see me at the Cats being a Cats player himself, and he works at the Past Players as well.

“He’d also be happy if I went somewhere else because he knows I’ve been working towards that goal.”

Twitter: @tom_king79