ESSENDON'S top draft pick Darcy Parish says stepping up to life at the elite level has been "intense", but he couldn't have wished for two better mentors than Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.
The Bombers' re-elected skipper Watson and new vice-captain Heppell have taken the Geelong Falcons product under their wings this pre-season – and the young gun has been in awe of his new teammates.
“There is some stars here and some great leaders as well so I’m learning heaps along the way," No.5 draft pick Parish told the club's website.
“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.”
Long touted as an early draft selection, Parish has received the club's famous No.3 guernsey, worn with most distinction by triple Brownlow medallist Dick Reynolds.
And the classy onballer has quickly met the demands of being a professional footballer, slogging it out on the training track and then preparing to go again the next day.
“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.”
However, the 18-year-old's steep learning curve hasn't just been restricted to life as a footballer.
“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.”