DARCY Fogarty has learnt a lot about himself in a year that started with him as a potential No.1 NAB AFL Draft pick.
The hype grew around the powerful forward after a dominant performance for the AFL Academy in the 2016 Grand Final curtain-raiser.
The South Australian was also a standout on the Academy's training camp in America in January, and then in April, he impressed as a 17-year-old against grown men in an exhibition match against VFL side the Northern Blues.
All that momentum was lost when a lingering knee injury and a form slump conspired to conclude a once promising draft year prematurely and disappointingly.
While he rejects the suggestion that expectation got the better of him, Fogarty admits he could have done things better before season-ending surgery in July.
"It's disappointing I didn't give myself the best chance to get drafted, but there's nothing I can do about it now," Fogarty told AFL.com.au.
"I was trying too hard, and I ended up complicating certain situations when I need to be simplifying my game.
"I can't blame the knee for that.
"If I'm lucky enough to get drafted, I've learnt a lot from the whole situation."
It's a not a question of whether or not Fogarty gets drafted, it's just where he gets selected in the first round in Sydney on November 24.
While Fogarty is no longer in the conversation for No.1 pick, an Academy mentor would be staggered if the 192cm powerhouse slipped outside the top 10.
Conceding that his protégé hasn't had the best of seasons, AFL national talent football manager Michael Ablett believes Fogarty is too good a talent to pass up at the pointy end of the draft.
"His footy hasn't been fantastic, and he's had a few injury interruptions, but Darcy is one of the most talented players in the draft," Ablett told AFL.com.au.
"He's a natural forward who will be able to pinch hit in the midfield and play down back.
"It's pretty handy to have a player who can play just about anywhere on the ground.
"And I think Darcy is 100 per cent the best kick in the draft."
With those attributes, it will be interesting to see where clubs see Fogarty's best position at AFL level.
Ablett describes him as a future "Paddy Cripps type", but Fogarty is happy to find his feet in attack while he develops he's already imposing frame.
"When I'm playing well I think my best position is up forward," he said.
"If I can have a few good pre-seasons and build my tank, then I think I can be that big-bodied midfielder.
"With my size, I can play a few positions."