19/04/2024

Gold Coast's Daisy D'Arcy earned a Rising Star nomination in Round 2. (Photos: AFLW, Gold Coast Suns; Design: Will Cuckson)

Gold Coast’s Daisy D’Arcy has earned a Rising Star nomination in Round 2 for her 16 disposal, five tackle and two mark game against West Coast.

The 19-year-old played a crucial role off the half-back flank in a game where her side didn’t give up a goal for three quarters.

Joining the Suns Academy before she was drafted in 2020, D’Arcy’s sporting background encompasses a variety of codes, from Aussie Rules to soccer to rugby. Ultimately though, footy is where she shone the most.

While she didn’t star in her draft year, the faith the club put in her has already paid off in spades.

D’Arcy is yet to miss a game since debuting in Round 1, 2021. She’s set to notch up her 22nd appearance this weekend.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, she credited her consistency to her teammates and the club environment.

“I have been working pretty hard since I got here, but at the end of the day I can’t be the player or person I am without my teammates,” D’Arcy said.

“Without them pushing me every training to become better, I definitely wouldn’t be able to get that nomination. Very thankful for my teammates.”

It was through her teammates that she found out she was nominated in the first place.

Led by star ruck Lauren Bella, the announcement certainly came out of nowhere.

“It was super exciting, I obviously had no idea,” D’Arcy laughed.

“I thought everyone came outside to do the defence class, and then Lauren asked me a couple of silly questions, and then Joycey [coach Cameron Joyce] told me. I didn’t believe him at the start.

“It was pretty cool and I’m glad that everyone was there, it was really humbling.”

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In her quiet and humble way, D’Arcy acknowledges that she’s still building her game despite a strong and consistent start to season seven.

Her tackling pressure has noticeably gone up a gear, as she continues to add more defensive craft to her game.

D’Arcy is currently averaging 5.5 tackles per game, up on her career-high of 4.1 in her debut season.

She’s highly damaging by foot, combining often with the midfield to launch attacks from defensive 50 with skilful and direct kicking.

“I’ve definitely been focusing on with the coaches on how to become a better footballer,” D’Arcy said.

“The focus has been on how to become a better defender and how to attack up the field. I’ve been working hard with the coaches on that part of it.”

After a disappointing showing against North Melbourne in Round 1, the bounce-back against West Coast was exactly what not only D’Arcy needed, but her fellow defenders and teammates across the ground needed to regain their confidence.

Even with the loss of Jamie Stanton early to an ACL injury, Ali Drennan put on a monster midfield performance, while ruck/forward Jacqui Dupuy played her best game yet in Suns colours.

First club goals for Courtney Jones, Ashlee Atkins, Giselle Davies and vice-captain Bess Keaney similarly kept the good vibes rolling.

Bess Keaney celebrates her first AFLW goal. (Photo: Gold Coast Suns)

Along with a successful return for perennially injured youngster Annise Bradfield, it may have been the turning point needed to kick off Gold Coast’s season.

“It was a great win, the whole team was up and about the whole game which is what we wanted… it was unreal,” D’Arcy said.

“We spoke during the win that that’s the brand of football we want to play, and we played it to a tee.

“Obviously there’s things to work on, but it was good to see that our brand of footy is pretty good. It’s very exciting for the rest of the year.”

The Suns will next face off against a brutally tough Lions outfit, who are the competition’s highest scorers after two rounds.

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