Darcy Macpherson tackles the Kangaroos' Ed Vickers-Willis in round one.
Darcy Macpherson tackles the Kangaroos' Ed Vickers-Willis in round one. Ian Hitchcock

Son of a Bulldog gun rises in third season on Gold Coast

DARCY Macpherson has never been one to dwell on setbacks, especially when it comes to his AFL career.

The son of former top Footscray midfielder Steve Macpherson, the terrier-like small forward appeared destined for a future in the red, white and blue.

But he was ultimately overlooked by the Bulldogs in the 2015 national draft and was instead later picked up by the Suns as a rookie selection.

"It was a little bit tough, because I spent a lot of time down there as part of the father-son program," Macpherson recalled.

"I didn't feel like I put a foot out of place, but obviously with their list at that point in time they didn't need more small guys, they had a few on the list.

"When the Suns picked me up, I was over the moon. I couldn't have cared less about not going to the Dogs after that."

Now in his third season, Macpherson has had to work hard for his 14 AFL games, while on and off the senior list, initially under former coach Rodney Eade.

Macpherson admits he was at his "lowest" when he suffered a medial ligament strain in his third senior game in 2016.

"Other than that I've stayed pretty positive. I'm a pretty positive sort of guy," he said.

"I always look on the bright side of things. I pride myself on being resilient, pushing through those times when things aren't going your way.

"I had to bide my time ... last year and the year before, (but) it's paying dividends now."

After playing the last six games of the 2017 season, the 20-year-old is looking to cement his place in the side. He's still listed as a rookie, but a new rule has allowed him to step up without having to wait for a long-term injury to a teammate.

Jarrod Harbrow and Darcy Macpherson compete for the ball during a Suns training session at Bond University. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Jarrod Harbrow and Darcy Macpherson compete for the ball during a Suns training session at Bond University. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

And he's played no small part in the Suns' 2-0 start to the season - wins over North Melbourne and Carlton.

Only three players in the league have laid more tackles than Macpherson (19), among them leader and teammate Nick Holman (24).

A few of the Suns instituted an in-house competition where the player with the least amount of tackles has to shout coffee.

Macpherson hasn't had to fork out yet.

Having modelled his attack on Bulldogs star Luke Dahlhaus, Macpherson is personifying new coach Stuart Dew's approach to relentless pressure.

"He's been a breath of fresh air for myself," Macpherson said of Dew, who he met for the first time at a cafe late last year with teammates and housemates Brayden Fiorini and Jack Bowes.

"He's created a positive culture around the club, where you can be yourself, not be afraid to speak up, and make mistakes on the field."

The Suns have taken their renewed confidence to Perth, where they take on Fremantle today at the new Optus Stadium.

News Corp Australia


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