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Bulldogs CEO reveals staggering growth spurt for 2021 No.2 draft pick


Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains has revealed top draftee Sam Darcy has grown a staggering 4.5 centimetres in the youngster's short time at the club.

Darcy, 18, was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2021 National Draft, with the Bulldogs matching a GWS bid to snare the son of club great Luke Darcy.

The tall forward was drafted with a pre-existing injury and suffered a setback earlier this year with a stress fracture in his foot. He was originally thought to be unavailable until late in the year, however Darcy has been selected for his first VFL game this weekend.

Speaking to AFL Nation before the Bulldogs’ AFL clash with Collingwood on Friday night, Bains revealed the stunning amount of growth in their young prospect and how it’s led to the club taking a “patient” approach.

“He gets his first game at VFL level this weekend after a slow considered build-up with him,” Bains said.

“The interesting thing with him for Dogs fans is he got drafted at 203cms (in November), but a couple of weeks ago he clocked in at 207.5cms.

“So it’s been the growing pains that have slowed him down a bit, so clearly with someone still growing at that rate we’ve just been really patient with him.”

When asked what that will do for his footy career, Bains suggested it could make Darcy a more versatile player.

“I think it does (make a bit of difference),” he added.

“Clearly he’s a father-son, so it was a decision that was easy for us to make given how talented he is, but in his draft year he played key forward, he played a bit of ruck, he played key defender as well… and was likened a little bit to Harris Andrews in terms of the way he played and the reach.

“But those extra centimetres make it a bit more interesting I think to play that end of the ground and perhaps as key forward given that height.”

The Bulldogs have been struck down by injuries in recent weeks, leaving Aaron Naughton to shoulder much of the load up forward.

Darcy and fellow highly-rated prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan will both play VFL on Saturday, leaving third-gamer Buku Khamis to partner Naughton.

Josh Bruce is recovering from an ACL reconstruction after a knee injury late last year, and Bains added they’re expecting the experienced forward back in the next two months.

“We’re hopeful that Josh Bruce returns, at least at VFL level, in the next four or five weeks, which will also give us a better indication of how quickly he’s able to come back to at least playing a really strong contributing role,” he said.

The Bulldogs risk falling two wins behind the top eight if they can’t beat Collingwood at Marvel Stadium, Luke Beveridge’s side currently 3-5.

Western Bulldogs

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