FROM her role as a graphic designer with the Club almost seven years ago, to inaugural Game Changer, to co-vice captain – Darcy Vescio is “very much a Carlton person.”
Fresh from her elevation from the leadership group to co-vice captain of the Game Changers, Vescio spoke to RSN Summer Breakfast on her strong relationship with the Navy Blue.
“I feel like I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to stay at the Club. It does take time to develop really strong ties to a club, and I’ve been really fortunate to do that,” Vescio said.
“It’s really exciting and I’m really proud to have stuck through tough times. Hopefully the next few years will be even better.”
Since arriving as a marquee signing in 2016, Vescio has built an impressive resume as a club best and fairest winner, two-time All-Australian, two-time leading goalkicker and a three-time Carlton leading goalkicker.
The forward line that Vescio calls home will take a different shape this year, with the potential for new combinations an exciting prospect for the key forward.
“It will be a different look forward line,” she said.
“Nic Stevens and I have been working really well together the past couple of seasons so I’m looking forward to seeing how that dynamic shifts.
“We’ve got other players like Georgia Gee and Charlotte Hammans coming through.
“I’m really excited, it feels really good at training and everyone has really embraced that shift in dynamic.”
As an inaugural Game Changer, Vescio has witnessed the growth of the women’s game first-hand, but recognises that there’s still progress to be made.
The next step? A full home-and-away season.
“A lot of the players would really love to be able to play every team once. That makes sense from a competition perspective,” she explained.
"Next year with the 18 teams, we’d build toward 17 home-and-away rounds and hopefully we can get there sooner rather than later.
"It’s a fair fixture – challenging – but I think we’re ready for that challenge."— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) December 4, 2021
Read what Brett Munro has to say on Carlton's 2022 AFLW fixture. 👀
“I think the AFL are starting to understand why the longer season is important, and how so many players are really struggling to juggle work and footy at the moment. I feel like we’re reaching a bit of a tipping point and that squeeze only gets harder for a lot of players.”
While countless hours are put in by many AFLW players behind the scenes, just 15 of those hours are contracted for six months of the year.
Vescio is fortunate that she has the ability to make extra sessions work around her freelance schedule but acknowledges that not all athletes enjoy that same flexibility.
“A lot of people probably think we’re at the club a lot more than we are and hopefully that will change," she said.
“It will be unrecognisable once we’ve got those hours at the club working on our craft.”