Darcy Moore (Oakleigh Chargers)
Height: 199 cm
Weight: 93 kg
Position: Key forward/defender
Strengths: Contested marking, versatility, reliable set shot, athleticism, leadership
Areas of Improvement: Consistency
Player comparison: Jarryd Roughead
Projected Draft Range: Collingwood father-son
The hype has always been inevitable for Darcy Moore, the son of Collingwood’s Peter, who played 172 games with Collingwood which returned a Brownlow Medal and a few years in charge as skipper. Expectations have always gone hand in hand with Moore throughout his junior career. It’s something by his own admission he has taken in his stride, but unlike most eligible draftees Moore just has to impress the one club to find his way onto an AFL list.
But the road hasn’t exactly been a smooth sailing one for Moore. His 2013 season was wiped out after a hip-related issue that required surgery, in which his rehabilitation was partially assisted and delivered by Collingwood. A series of back and hip-related injuries, not to mention a freak hand-related injury was more bad luck rather than a reoccurring issue.
Subsequently, Moore stepped back from football and opted to focus on his final year of VCE in which he attained a 90+ ATAR, and made a late-season comeback for the Chargers albeit without fanfare. The Melbourne Grammar school captain was not eligible to be drafted in 2013, unlike his peers, which enabled him to make the choice to put all of his energy in the 2014 preseason. In doing so, Moore got himself mentally and physically ready for attacking his final year in 2014. Although he was named in the AFL-AIS academy, he opted to withdraw from the program – not too dissimilar to now-North Melbourne defender Luke McDonald, whose fate was already determined. This, however, was not because Collingwood had assured him a place on their list, it was because he wanted a full season at Oakleigh to string together form and consistency without having to juggle numerous teams and coaches.
An overseas holiday to refresh and an injury-free preseason have been major parts in Moore’s form so far for ladder-leaders Oakleigh Chargers. Moore opened his account in round one with a best on ground performance. Starting in defence, Moore was pivotal down back as a close checking defender, before a switch forward in the third quarter returned four contested marks and three goals.
Although Moore has spent the majority of his junior football as a powerful, strong lead-up forward, this year has seen him develop exquisitely as a defender, which has now scouts and recruiters alike debating on his best position. Moore was handed the task of nullifying potential top-five prospect Hugh Goddard in game three of the National Championships and did so with distinction, holding Goddard goalless with just five handballs and a singular mark to his name. One scout labelled it a ‘damning display that’s really reaffirmed why he is a top five talent.”
Already earmarked to potentially become ‘the best player of the 2014 draft’ by both Kevin Sheehan and Emma Quayle, the excitement over Moore is genuine, so much so that depending on who you speak to, Moore is the best swingman in this year’s pool. It’s not very often a 199 cm, 95 kg 18-year-old is as well filled out as Moore, but more to the point he has the attributes to become a future star.
Moore is incredibly disciplined, and as captain of the Oakleigh Chargers he leads by example, which is why his teammates draw inspiration from his courageous acts and team-first attitude. More specifically speaking, Moore is incredibly mobile for a key tall. The same athleticism and thumping kick his father displayed has too found its way to Moore.
As a forward, Moore has a great turn of foot. He has a great burst of speed over his first 20 metres to gain separation on his direct opponent, whilst his nous to really body up and be physical comes naturally. On the lead, Moore has terrific hands and marks the ball out in front rather than on his chest, giving his opponent little chance to spoil. Overhead he is strong, and in particular his contested marking is rated elite, averaging 6.8 marks per game, of which half are contested. In terms of his kicking for goal, he has a really clean and basic set-shot technique and great mechanics in how he approaches his run up as well as his ball drop. He gets a lot of depth and accuracy from outside 50, and really follows through strongly.
In what is certainly a coach pleaser, Moore isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. He crashes packs to bring the ball to ground and create a contest, but is equally as agile below his knees when the ball hits the deck.
In defence, Moore isn’t a huge disposal winner in comparison to other highly rated draftees. He’s largely happy to play a close-checking, lock down role rather than win the ball himself. His defensive marking is fantastic, and although he uses the ball well by foot, he’s largely inclined to dish off a handball to a running defender, rather than pick up the stat.
Moore’s spoiling efforts are also first class. He doesn’t just make contact with the ball and crash packs but he really puts a lot of strength and energy into ensuring he kills the ball, pushing it through for a behind or sending it out on the boundary.
In terms of his weaknesses right now, his consistency is the biggest factor. He struggled to have an impact in game one of the National Championships, and found it incredibly odd that it took three quarters for Vic Metro coach, Mark Flood to move him up the ground to get him involved in the game. A switch to defence would’ve been ideal, but he was also injected into the ruck where he was able to do some nice things.
For Collingwood supporters debating over whether he is worth a first round pick, you would be barking mad to think otherwise. Lower ranked teams in Carlton and Western Bulldogs are crying out for a player like Moore, which is exactly why the Pies will be forced into selecting him with their first pick.