RESPECTED Geelong Falcons talent scout Michael Turner has compared Colac district AFL draft prospect Darcy Parish to a young Joel Selwood.
Parish, 18, was among 44 aspiring footballers to this week receive an invitation to the AFL’s National Draft Combine in October, after receiving interest from at least five AFL clubs.
Football followers have touted the Winchelsea gun as a potential top-10 pick in the national draft later this year after a dominant second season with the Geelong Falcons.
He represented Vic Country for the second straight year and helped the team win a national title, and claimed All Australian honours for a second time despite missing the state team’s first two matches of the national championships due to a broken thumb.
Turner said Parish was a certainty in this year’s draft, likely to follow in the footsteps of Geelong captain and three-time premiership player Joel Selwood.
Selwood played with Bendigo in the TAC Cup before the Cats selected him with the seventh pick in the 2006 draft.
“People laugh when I say these things, but at the same age Darcy is as good as Joel Selwood was when he was his age,” Turner said.
“I travelled with Selwood and players like Travis Boak and Paddy Ryder to Ireland when he played TAC Cup,” he said.
“He’s not at the stage where Joel is now, but Darcy’s got a lot of development in him, he’s as good as any kid we’ve had at the Geelong Falcons and we’ve had some beauties.
“He’s very respected by AFL clubs not just as a player but as a person as well.”
Parish has played four games with Vic Country and three games with the Falcons since returning from his thumb injury.
Falcons coach Andrew Allthorpe said Parish had well and truly recovered from the injury and had returned to his best football.
“He was straight back into it after returning from his injury,” he said.
“He had that same intensity and competitiveness he always does, it didn’t faze him whatsoever.”
Parish is the first Colac district footballer invited to the national combine since Colac Tiger Darcy Lang in 2013.
He is among four Falcons invited, along with fellow highly-rated players Rhys Mathieson and Charlie Curnow, and up-and-comer Tom Doedee.
National combine officials will put the players through rigorous testing including fitness assessments, medical checks, AFL club interviews as well as psychomotor testing, including testing reaction time, decision making and peripheral awareness.