“THERE WAS absolutely zero chance of me walking out this blue door!”
An inaugural Carlton player and a Game Changer if ever there was one, Darcy Vescio is as Navy Blue as they come.
It’s why they said there was simply no prospect of playing for a different club, despite the expansion of the AFLW competition which will come into effect this season which is only two months ago.
While it’s been a (shortened) off-season of change at IKON Park from the Game Changers’ perspective, Vescio is full of faith in what the team as a whole can produce going forward.
With a CBA signed and a season well and truly in the offing, Vescio said they were “locked and loaded” for season seven.
“I love being at Carlton and I feel like I’ve evolved over the years, as the Club has,” Vescio said.
“I’ve been part of this Club for what feels like a really, really long time now and I’m really proud of where we’re at.
“The people we have around the Club and those that are committing to our program and want to be part of it, I thin it’s going to be awesome and some exciting times ahead.”
There’ll be a distinctively different feel to the Game Changers leading into the coming season, with Vescio believing the best thing about it is that young players have the chance to seize the opportunity and leave their imprint on the team.
Under AFLW Senior Coach Daniel Harford, Vescio said it was an evolution of the playing group which they were looking forward to being at the forefront of.
“I was really rapt to see ‘Harf’ sign on for two more years. I really enjoy the way he coaches and I think he’s still got a lot to offer us — every year, he grows with us,” they said.
“When players leave, there automatically comes an opportunity for someone to step up. I’m going to step up, everybody else is going to step up and we’re going to find a new groove.
“We’ve got a heap of young players and that is really exciting.”
As a club delegate for the AFLPA, Vescio was an active voice in the negotiation of the new collective bargaining agreement, alongside captain Kerryn Harrington who has recently been elected to the AFLPA Board.
It’s something which Vescio believes “changes the game completely”, which holds particular weight coming from the competition’s all-time leading goalkicker given their experience with previously combining work at the Club alongside their playing responsibilities.
“It means every player has a bit more flexibility when it comes to work: they can prioritise footy and be able to work around the season a bit more,” they said.
“Players were getting to a point where they were physically quite exhausted and mentally exhausted when it came to the AFLW season.
“It might not be this season since it is upon us, but I think especially season eight and nine and beyond, you’ll really see a chance in a way the athletes approach the game.
“I was already in a fortunate position where I didn’t need to work full-time to make footy work, and I understand I’m very privileged in being able to take on ambassador roles and do speaking gigs which helps financially.
“Knowing that my teammates can do that as well is amazing.”
And it’d be remiss of us not to mention this crucial point.
“I do miss working here at the Club, and I am still credited with the work the whole team pumps out — so shoutout to the Carlton Media crew.”
A shoutout to you too, ‘Darce’.