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“It’s not even a question”: Melbourne great declares Darcy more valuable than Reid


Is West Coast’s newest superstar Harley Reid the most valuable player in the game?

A forgone conclusion in the eyes of many given Reid’s extraordinary 11 games to start his career, but Melbourne great David Schwarz says otherwise.

Schwarz believes young Bulldog Sam Darcy would be the player he would take before any other across the league, pointing to the 20-year-old’s remarkable attributes.

Darcy, standing at 208cms, has kicked 22 goals from 11 games in 2024 including another three on Friday night.

“You just can’t find 6-foot-10 blokes who can mark, kick and are good at ground level,” Schwarz told AFL Nation.

“But the best thing I saw (on Friday) night, he got into a lot of trouble early on, he’s reported and knows he’s going to miss a few weeks. He then stuffs up a few things, gets called onto the bench and Bevo (Luke Beveridge) speaks to him… for a young player, that is licence to drop your head and go into your shell.

“But he didn’t do that, he did the opposite. He said 'stuff you, I’m going to prove to you that my game isn’t finished'.

“He showed so much courage.”

As noted, Darcy is expected to miss multiple games for a first term collision with Brayden Maynard in the Bulldogs’ three-goal win.

So too will Reid after a dangerous tackle in his side's loss to St Kilda, meaning both young superstars are out of the Rising Star race.

Reid has single-handedly turned the narrative for the Eagles in his first season west after being taken with the no.1 pick and has played several blistering games.

But Schwarz expects Darcy will prove to be a player more special given what he can do.

“Harley Reid is spoken about as head and tails in front of every other young kid in the game,” he continued.

“I know Darcy has been in (the competition) for three years, they were both eligible for the Rising Star (before the weekend)… would I take Harley Reid or Sam Darcy?

“If they were lined up today… I’m taking Darcy, and it’s not even a question of by how far. It’s a fair distance.

“Harley Reid is a generational player, I get that.

“But to find a ruckman who can play forward with all the skill in the air and on the ground, they are so hard to find.

“Every side has a bull midfielder. Has every side got a 6-foot-10 who can play ruck, forward and do everything around the ground? There’s probably one in the competition.”

With both Reid and Darcy ineligible for the Rising Star, St Kilda’s Darcy Wilson, Geelong’s Ollie Dempsey and North Melbourne’s George Wardlaw are among the next best chances for the award.

Western Bulldogs

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