Winchelsea backs AFL draft hopeful

Winchelsea footballer Darcy Parish

Winchelsea footballer Darcy Parish

WINCHELSEA Football Club president Daniel Greskie says the town is buzzing at the prospect of Darcy Parish landing at an AFL club on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old Winchelsea product is widely tipped to be taken as a top-10 pick in the NAB AFL Draft in Adelaide.

Parish started his career at Winchelsea and has gone on to excel as one of the nation’s top junior footballers.

He has earned state and All Australian honours after eye-catching performances for the Geelong Falcons and Vic Country, which has propelled him onto AFL recruiters’ radar.

Greskie said the tight-knit club and residents of the small country town were getting behind the popular youngster in the lead up to draft day.

“It’s very exciting, not just for our footy-netball club, but the whole community,” he said.

“From watching him as an eight-year-old to what he is now, is pretty exciting for everyone involved.

“He still plays cricket at Winch, so he’s involved in all the sports and everyone knows the Parishes.”

Greskie said he wasn’t surprised by Parish’s rise through the football ranks after the ball-magnet was quick to make an impact when he started the game at Winchelsea.

“From a young age he always excelled in his footy,” he said.

“When he was bottom-age in the under-12s he played in an under under-14 premiership for us and he was always a very silky player.

“He definitely had a lot of potential growing up.”

Former Geelong-listed footballer Adam Donohue was the last AFL player with a Winchelsea connection to make the elite system in 2007.

Greskie said Parish’s likely move to an AFL team had created a boost around the longstanding club, which hadn’t produced a large number of AFL products.

“Our last player was probably Adam Donohue, who played a lot of junior footy with us but went to Grovedale, and was drafted father-son to Geelong,” he said.

“We haven’t had a great deal of VFL-AFL players come through our club.

“Our club’s been going for 150 years, so it’s great for him to achieve what he has so far and put us on the map.”

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