Just over a month ago Darcy Parish was a teenager hoping for a shot in the big time.
Now he’s fully immersed in life as an AFL footballer and enjoying the strict routine and professional requirements his new career demands.
“I’ve loved being here around the Club,” Parish said.
“It’s a very intense step up from what I’m used to training in the TAC Cup, but I’m really enjoying it and learning heaps from the boys.
“My routine at the moment is just training, eating and sleeping.
“It’s been full on but I’m enjoying it.”
Essendon selected Parish with its first pick (number five overall) in November’s National Draft.
It was a significant night for the Bombers as they landed four picks inside the top 30 and some exciting talent with their later selections.
Just days after the National Draft, Parish and his fellow graduates arrived at Essendon headquarters to begin training.
“All the boys here have made me feel really welcome,” Parish said.
“There is lots of new faces this year so it’s been really good and all the boys are legends, so yeah, loving it.”
It has been a steep learning curve for the two-time under 18 All-Australian who not only has had to adapt to a new working environment but also a new living environment.
“It’s obviously a bit different from out on the farm where it’s a bit more peaceful,” Parish said.
“The traffic is obviously a bit different so that gets me a bit frustrated at times.
“But I’ve loved the move and the lifestyle I’m living.”
He now shares that lifestyle with teammates like Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.
“There is some stars here and some great leaders as well so I’m learning heaps along the way," Parish said.
“Heppell, Jobe – they stand out pretty well.
"They’re absolute stars as well so they’ve just been teaching me about stoppages and how to train and go about my business, so it’s awesome to get their knowledge.”