HORSHAM sporting star Darcy Tucker has added an All-Australian honour to his cap.
The Horsham Saints and North Ballarat Rebels footballer was named in the 2014 Under-18 All Australian team on Friday.
Tucker, 17, was one of six defenders named in the starting 18 and one of five Vic Country players named in the 22-man side.
It is a major achievement for the bottom-age player, who is not draft-eligible until 2015.
Tucker was ecstatic with the selection.
“It’s an amazing feeling and a great honour,’’ he said.
The achievement bodes well for Tucker, after an impressive start to the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships last month.
He was named among Vic Country’s best players in each of his three games, playing off a half-back flank.
He averaged 20.7 disposals a game at an efficiency rate of 80.6 per cent before an ankle injury cut his campaign short.
Tucker was forced to watch from the sidelines as his team fell short in their final two matches.
But he was pleased with his individual performance.
“I was very happy. I just played my role for the team,’’ he said.
Tucker will be out for two or three weeks with the ankle injury.
But he is focused on returning to Rebels duties and his next big goal – AIS-AFL Academy level two selection.
Tucker received a level one scholarship in August last year after his efforts in Vic Country’s under-16 national championships victory.
Through the scholarship, he joined training camps in Melbourne and the Gold Coast before heading to New Zealand with the squad.
Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said Tucker’s selection was outstanding.
“We’re really rapt for Darcy, he’s worked extremely hard and played some exceptional games at Vic Country level,’’ he said.
“I thought being injured for the last two games might have hampered his All-Australian chances but it’s just great for him.
“To gain All-Australian selection as a bottom-age player is an outstanding effort.’’
Tucker represented Vic Country in both basketball and football at under-16 level before electing to concentrate on football about a year ago.
Horsham Saints Football and Netball Club president Roger Sordello said it was a fantastic achievement from the young gun and also a credit to his parents Roxanne and Leigh.
“It’s a credit to him – he’s put in all the hard work,” he said.
“He’s super professional with how he prepares himself and how he goes about it.
“From a club and a personal point of view, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Sordello said he was hopeful of seeing Tucker, who watched the Saints play Ararat on Saturday, in the red, white and black at some stage this year.
“We hope to see him in a Saints jumper before the end of the season,” he said.
“We’re really proud of him at the club.”