When Darcy Moore took the reigns from Scott Pendlebury as captain at the beginning of 2023, the enormity of the role was not lost on him.
“It really is from the bottom of my heart a massive honour and something I take really seriously,” Moore said back in February.
“Your (the players’) depth of character and talent are the reasons I’m so proud to be standing here to be able to represent you this season and going forward.
“I’m really excited about what we can achieve in the future.”
That excitement was validated with Moore a Premiership Captain eight months later after his first season at the helm.
It’s no surprise then that it was a career-best season in terms of performance as well, leading the team not just by words, but actions too.
Named at centre half-back in the All-Australian team, Moore became the premier intercept marker in the competition, part of a backline full of stars.
So, when he raised the Premiership Cup on Grand Final day after a four-point win, with the trophy handed over by his father Peter, all his dreams had been realised.
“It was a dream for all of us, we were the best team all season and in the words of Brayden Maynard, at the top of the ladder for a reason,” he said.
“We showed it in the finals, and we dreamed about it all season and worked so hard, so to see all the guys up there getting presented their medals and celebrating the cup it was extraordinary.”
It was hard to pinpoint a favourite moment from the day for the 27-year-old, saying the consistency of his team made every second enjoyable.
“There’s so many moments, I think that’s the beauty of this team is that everyone is so incredibly talented and selfless and there’s so many amazing moments that make it such a rich team of players,” he said.
“After the game, celebrating on the field and sharing that moment on the MCG with the team and no one else around, the stands empty I think it’s something we’ll never forget as a team, and we’re bonded for life now so we’ll remember it forever.”
And overwhelmingly, there’s one off-field group that Moore was intent on praising.
“We go out there and we give it everything and to know we have you guys (the Magpie Army) behind us,” he said.
“There’s 106,000 members this year and I have a sneaking suspicion that next year there’s going to be a few more.”
Darcy Moore’s 2023 stats:
- First year as captain
- Most wins he’s had in a season (20)
- Equalled the record for intercept marks in one game (10)
- Most disposals and marks he’s ever had in a season
- Ranked #2 at Collingwood for marks
- Ranks elite for intercept marks
- All-Australian selection for second time