A position swap from small forward to the back line has proven to be a masterstroke for Darcy Macpherson.
The Gold Coast SUNS second selection in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft played a string has found cementing a spot in a competitive squad difficult, but says a good, honest chat with Head Coach Stuart Dew about moving into defence proved to be beneficial for all.
“It was that small forward part, and I played a little bit of midfield in the early days, then was playing pretty good footy in the twos and just couldn’t get into the side due to the boys out there,” Macpherson said.
“I had a chat with Dewy to try to go down back and give that a crack, and I just took it with open arms and backed myself."
The learning curve when moving positions is a steep one, and Macpherson says he finds the constant communication and need to be set-up the most difficult thing to get his head around.
“You’re always in the game. I find in the backline you don’t really get lost too much because it’s all happening so quick and you need to react especially to your forwards as well.
“As a half-forward or forward pocket player, you can get pretty lonely down there and sometimes the ball doesn’t come down as much."
The defender developed his skills in the role late last season, but has been thrown into AFL level to start this season, saying the pre-season allowed him to get up to speed.
“I went down there in Round 17 last year and it was just learning little bits and pieces and I really knuckled down that small back spot, and then just got my body fit and strong and gave myself the best opportunity to put myself in the best position.
“It does feel like there’s sort a start to a new career, which is great… a breath of fresh air… I’m just loving it because I don’t feel as much pressure and I get to see the game much better down there.
“It’s my mentality to just stop my opponent getting a kick or stop them kicking goals, that’s just how I live my life, just on the edge and chip on the shoulder sort of stuff.
Macpherson, originally from Victoria, has taken to the Queensland lifestyle over seven years at the club with the Gold Coast certainly becoming his home.
“I’m making the most of my footy career and leaving no stone unturned. It could be a short career but you can control what you can control, and make the most of it, getting everything out of your body.
“I’m similar to Dave [Swallow] in a way of just like respecting the club, giving back and being loyal and trying to contribute.
“Life’s great on the Gold Coast, love it! Better than Victoria. Nice and warm. I love the beach, I love the routine up here.