DRAFT ANALYSIS: "The best South Australian draft prospect who may transition to an inside midfielder if he can improve his endurance"
Darcy Fogarty came into the season as a contender for the No.1 pick, after showing great signs in the finals for Glenelg Under 18s in 2016. After booting seven goals exclusively as a forward in the 2016 National Under 18 Championships – including four against the Allies – there was hope the big bodied Fogarty could transition to an inside midfield role. He started the season at SANFL League level, averaging 12 disposals – before returning to South Australia in the Under 18 carnival. Fogarty’s role wasn’t clear throughout the carnival, playing in the midfield and up forward – but looking slightly off the pace and lethargic at times. Perhaps his best game was under lights at Simonds Stadium, where he played as a rebounding defender – using his long kick to effectiveness. However, it was apparent that all was not right with the strapping on Fogarty’s knee indicating that he was carrying a niggle. Fogarty was soon booked in for surgery on a small meniscus tear and was ruled out for the remainder of the season. Fogarty is able to kick the ball on either foot and use his strength up forward – but the big question for club recruiters is just where does Fogarty play his best football and in what position. The million dollar question for some is – will he ever end up a midfielder?
- Clean hands
- Decision making
In the contest, Fogarty possesses quick and clean hands that allow him to get the ball out to teammates to clear a pack. On the occasions where he has played as an inside midfielder, he has shown this trait to be effective in allowing him to get a clearance and dish the ball out to the outside runners.
When he plays, Fogarty makes good decisions where he plays and hits the targets more often that not. On the inside, he is smart to get the ball out to the runners on the outside and he gets to the right position to win the ball. Inside 50, his leading work is pretty good. Fogarty possesses a thumping right foot kick, but has shown that his left is just as effective – with both easily able to sail over 50 metres. His kicking efficiency in the National Under 18 Championships this year was impressive, going at an elite 80.6 per cent efficiency. At 192cm, his strength in the contest has been important, while up forward he has shown he can take contested marks as an option inside 50. As a bigger bodied that most Under 18 players, Fogarty has been able to out muscle players in the SANFL Under 18s last year and against some other top contenders in the draft pool. In one of his better performances at South Australian level, Fogarty clunked three contested marks and booted two goals against Western Australia last year.
- Clear position at next level
- Ball winning
For Fogarty to move into the midfield in the future – his running and endurance need to improve. While Fogarty didn’t test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine due to his knee injury, he ran a 12.10 beep test earlier in the season – a figure which is below average. If he can regain full fitness after knee surgery and works hard during the preseason, it’s a number that Fogarty can improve in order to push into senior calculations for the club that select him.
An question that a lot of clubs have raised is “where does Fogarty play at the next level?” Fogarty has played as a third tall utility at either end, as showing some form as an inside midfielder for Glenelg last year in the SANFL Under 18s final series. It’s fesible that in his first year, Fogarty will likely start as a third tall at either end and continue to work on his endurance and his inside midfield craft. His ball winning numbers aren’t overly high, averaging 11.5 disposals in the National Under 18 Championships – and on the occasions he has played as an inside midfielder at SANFL level, his return wasn’t overly high. While he has smarts in the contest, an improved endurance base and ball winning capabilities might help him translate to a midfielder. But the question is will he? Or might he just be a third tall at either end, in a similar mould to an Aaron Francis.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 5-15
Darcy Fogarty has shown glimpses in 2017 and a knee injury curtailed his season ensuring that we wouldn’t see the best of Fogarty and for him to reach as high as some had hoped. With good decision making skills and quick hands in the contest suggesting a possible move into the midfield is possible down the track, he will need to address his endurance with it holding him back from being a full-time midfielder in the AFL. The question for AFL clubs is where do they see him playing his best football, and whether he becomes a midfielder or a third tall at the next level. Fogarty’s first few preseasons at AFL level will be important in answering that question as to what player the general forward translates to in years to come.
Under 18s Championships