Leigh Matthews has labelled Western Bulldogs young gun Sam Darcy as ?the next big thing?.

The 20-year-old produced arguably his best game at AFL level in Saturday?s narrow loss to Geelong, kicking three goals from 12 disposals to go with three marks and eight hit-outs.

Four-time premiership coach, player and all-round V/AFL legend Matthews loved what he saw from Darcy who he believes is well ahead in his development compared to other young key position players.

?Let?s talk about the next big thing which is Sam Darcy,? Matthew said on Channel 9?s Footy Furnace.

?Big is the operative word - 208cm.

?He kicked three goals, took three really strong overhead marks for a really young, really skinny player.

?He gets in after the ball at ground level, he still had 9 or 10 (12) disposals.

?Most blokes of his size are not much good until they?re probably 24 or 25.

?So I reckon he is the next big thing and that?s going to be very bad news, I suspect, for Rory Lobb. They?re not going to play both of them.?

Triple Geelong premiership player Jimmy Bartel was also full of praise for the son of All-Australian Bulldog Luke.

He highlighted the fact that Darcy, who was drafted with Pick 2 in 2021, is already so versatile in that he can play in multiple roles.

?He?s a proper three-position threat,? Bartel added.
?He can play forward, he can play in the ruck and he can we?ve seen him in different glimpses at centre half-back.

?His hands are so good and he?s a good finisher around goal.?

Darcy has now played 10 career games and is in the mix for a Rising Star nomination for Round 4.