Essendon might be paying for the sins of their past this year but their 2016 AFL campaign is also about hope and Bombers fans need look no further than Darcy Parish for that.
In his ninth AFL game, Parish gathered 25 possessions and kicked two goals in a lively performance in his side’s 38-point loss to Richmond in their Dreamtime at the ‘G clash on Saturday night.
“He continues to show some really top-end talent,” coach John Worsfold said of the fifth overall pick at last year’s draft.
“He didn’t spend a lot of time in the midfield, but we put him in there in the last quarter and he really helped us.
“He probably set up a couple of good forward attacks early (as well) to the point where we took him off for a rest about five minutes into the first quarter and we were saying,’There’s our match winner coming off’.
“But as a forward he kicked a couple of classy goals, and had another couple of opportunities, so he’s very exciting.”
The depleted Bombers didn’t lose any admirers against the Tigers, despite falling to their eighth loss in succession.
The Dons have a golden opportunity to add to their one win for the season next Saturday when they take on winless, last-placed Fremantle at Subiaco.
“We go in and play our best footy every week … that will be the same next week,” Worsfold said.
“Regardless of where teams are at we want to challenge ourselves to keep improving.
“We have to. I want the players to keep taking risks and go for some of the tough kicks that have cost us some goals in the recent weeks but we will keep doing it.”
Defender Michael Hartley didn’t see out the match against the Tigers and will likely miss at least two weeks with a hamstring strain.