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Salt, sand and sweat

Port Beach is slowly becoming a big part of Darcy Tucker's life as a Freo Docker. Darcy Tucker has been living with senior player Garrick Ibbotson for the first two weeks of his time in Perth and learning a lot

Western Australia is known for its beaches, so for many interstate recruits it’s one of the first places they visit after making the trip West.
For new recruit Darcy Tucker, Port Beach is slowly becoming a big part of his life as a Freo Docker.
The Victorian recruit is currently living with defender Garrick Ibbotson, a move which is helping the 18-year-old transition into life in a different state as an elite athlete.
“It’s an initiative the club has undertaken over the past couple of years now,” Ibbotson said.
“An experienced player takes a new player under their wing and shows them what’s expected, and what day-to-day life is for an AFL player.”
The importance of getting into a routine is one aspect of life as an AFL footballer Ibbotson is trying to instil into the new recruit.
“Lee Spurr, Michael Barlow and myself have been heading down to the beach before training sessions for the past two or three years now,” Ibbotson said.

Surreal moment for Tucker

“We spend 10 or 15 minutes in the water and then go and get some breakfast together.
“It’s been good to take Darcy down and show him what it’s like to prepare for an AFL season.”
Tucker, who is 18 years old, said the experience has been invaluable.
“When my name got read out I was stoked to be at Freo, I’ve come over to Perth and I’m straight into it,” Tucker said.
“Garrick has helped me out a lot, driving me around and showing me the ropes.
“Obviously living with him has been great because he has been around for a while, everything has become more normal as the weeks have passed.
“I love Perth, I love the weather and the beach and I am looking forward to the season and what’s ahead.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs