This Gold Coast midfielder has an appetite for success like few others – and a workrate to match. 

He was overlooked by the Western Bulldogs as a father-son selection in 2015, and subsequently spent three years on the Suns' rookie list trying to prove himself as an AFL-standard player. 

And in 2019, Darcy Macpherson has done just that.

The 21-year-old is not only averaging 19 disposals in his new midfield role, but his defensive output is up there with the best players in the game.

Macpherson has the third most pressure acts in the league, trailing only All Australians Dayne Zorko and Elliot Yeo.

He is also ranked fifth for tackles, behind Yeo, Zorko, Tim Taranto and Jack Steele, and seventh for tackles inside forward 50.

In a season where Gold Coast has struggled, with young midfield aces Jack Bowes, Ben Ainsworth and  all hampered by injury, Macpherson has flourished. 

He's no longer just a forward-line terrier, but a consistent ball-winner and midfield contributor.

"It's the first year I've strung a number of games together and got into the seniors," Macpherson told

"I'm happy with how things have gone this year, personally.

"I always dreamt about being a midfielder in the AFL. I still don't think I'm there yet, but I worked through pre-season wanting to be in the midfield." 

The son of Stephen, who played 188 games for Footscray in the 1980s and 1990s, Macpherson has played all 17 games this season – doubling his career tally from the previous three years. 

He says ranking highly in the defensive aspects is something he strives for and is proud of.

That hunger to impact both with and without the ball is something the quietly spoken Victorian constantly reminds himself of.

"I keep it simple – go after the footy, hit bodies and work hard, get from contest to contest," he said.

"It's a bit of my nature, the way I've entered the AFL system.

"I got overlooked as a Bulldogs father-son and then got the opportunity here and was on the rookie list for three years. 

"I've got that hunger in me that every week is like your last. 

"I want to leave it all out there and not put an embarrassing performance out on the table. 

"It's just something in me that always drives me to keep being better and keep wanting to be the best player out there."