IN GAME review meetings, Darcy Moore didn't know what he was doing, or how to explain it.
Watching vision of himself playing in defence at the start of this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, Moore realised how new it was to him.
Having been a forward all his life, the likely Collingwood father-son draft selection found himself going back to a key question: what didn't he like about defenders when he played in attack?
"I was born and bred as a forward from a young age so I've had to develop those defensive instincts and really knuckle down and focus on that," the 18-year-old said.
"You just do what I don't like playing on, what's hard to play against. It adds another element [to my game]. I'm really enjoying it. Training and playing and getting a bit of consistency is really good.
"It's been good taking those steps and I feel like I'm in a pretty good position."
On Friday, Moore continued his up-and-back national carnival, shifting to a more natural habitat in Vic Metro's 58-point win over Western Australia at Simonds Stadium.
The 18-year-old had 16 disposals and kicked four goals – one lying on his back from the goalsquare, a couple of others from close range, and another set shot.
It was the 199cm prospect's best game of the championships, and was the same for his team. "We're playing a pseudo AFL-style game plan, so it's a really good initiation," he said. "We're definitely trending up."
Simply playing has given Moore some confidence, after injuries have curtailed his recent seasons. The versatile son of dual Brownlow medallist Peter finished school at Carey Grammar last year and is studying commerce at Melbourne University, enjoying the time he has to spend on his footy.
"My dad always jokes, he reckons since I've got my licence, he's said 'Fair dinkum, my life has changed'," Moore said.
"It's so dramatic and it can’t be understated, the pressure of year 12 lifted off your shoulders is huge. It's really worked for me, but being at uni and doing a fairly heavy load and liaising with them and the football program has made it pretty easy."
Studying has also given him something else to focus on, besides the likelihood he will join the Magpies as their first pick at this year's draft. Moore has tried to not allow any of that distract him.
"That external noise and stuff I can't control, really, as much as it’s got everything to do with me it’s got nothing to do with me," he said.
"I’m just putting myself in a bubble and trying to impress [Vic Metro coach] David Flood and [Oakleigh Chargers coach] Justin Wenke … and we'll see how that unfolds as the championships end. Obviously having my old man, he's been through all that and given me perspective on it.
"A lot of people are asking and a lot of people want to know but I've got the blinkers on."