Darcy Byrne-Jones celebrates his match-winning goal against the Hawks. Image: AFL Photos.

YARTAPUULTI forward Darcy Byrne-Jones has enjoyed the high since his side’s clutch win on Sunday, and has had plenty of time to reflect on the stunning finish. 

The 28-year-old bravely soccered the final major in a gritty comeback to secure a one-point win over Hawthorn, with the group now looking ahead to North Melbourne in Hobart on Saturday. 

Byrne-Jones spoke to the Adelaide media on Wednesday about the feeling following the victory, tackling the pressure of the last few minutes of the game, and how the group has reflected on their slow start.  

Byrne-Jones on the days since the win 
“Yeah, it's been good, obviously, the exciting moment on Sunday afternoon, but just real excitement and I’ve never been in that situation before. It’s exciting, a lot of people have reached out, there were more people watching than I probably realised. It’s great to get the win in that fashion, it doesn’t happen very often. It's nice to hear from people you haven't heard from for a while. And it's a great way to reconnect with people in that sense, I guess.” 

Darcy Byrne-Jones lived out the childhood dream of kicking the match-winning goal, completing a mammoth comeback from his side. Image: AFL Photos.

Byrne-Jones on his thoughts during the last passage of play 
“Yeah, I can sort of remember bits of it. Obviously, Willie’s goal was really important and probably more clutch than anything I did. And then yeah, just trying to get set up in the right positions and see what can happen. And luckily enough, something crazy did happen. So yeah, I can remember a bit of it. I had family over as well, which was good to share it with them as well.” 

Byrne-Jones on the dream of kicking a winning goal 
“Yeah, I mean, growing up as a defender, you probably only dream of kicking one from outside 50 like Dan (Houston) did but I can only kick 40, so it’s not something I really ever dreamt of. That last centre bounce before the ball came in, I was a little bit nervous and didn’t have to think about it too much, which was lucky.” 


Byrne-Jones on rewatching the goal 
“I have watched it a couple (of times). There's been a few couple of mates who sent me memes and stuff of it so I do admit to watching a couple of times. But yeah, time to move on now probably, a few days later.” 

Byrne-Jones on the celebration after the goal 
“Yeah, just sort of pretty ecstatic. We don't really celebrate goals too hard. But yeah, I couldn't help myself with that one. So yeah, me and Jase (Burgoyne) were hugging and I don't think we've ever hugged before, so it was good fun.” 

Byrne-Jones on finding different ways to kick goals 
“Willie Rioli’s been big on being really clean and kicking goals different ways. And I guess yes, soccering off the ground is one way as well. So it is something we kind of work on and joke around a bit. But yeah, lucky enough, it came to fruition on the weekend.” 

Byrne-Jones on Ken Hinkley’s reaction 
“He just said well done, I guess and was just happy and pumped that we could execute and come back and win. Obviously, we didn't play too well for probably two-and-a-half, three quarters of the game. So yeah, to come back and snatch the game at the end was exciting for everyone. Ken’s been calling me Pelé. Hopefully that one doesn't catch on.” 

Ken Hinkley applauds his side and the crowd following Yartapuulti's win over the Hawks. Image: AFL Photos.

Byrne-Jones on the messaging at three-quarter time 
“I guess the conversation was more you know, why not? Why not roll the dice and see what we can do and change a few things up. And if we lose by more than 28 then so be it. But we might as well try and win. So there was a real belief in the group and the coaching group as well, so it's nice that you know, that belief kind of gets rewarded.” 

Byrne-Jones on feeling for the Hawks 
“Yeah, I guess, guys like Karl (Amon), who I’m good mates with and Jarman (Impey) as well, who I’ve spent a lot of time with, you do feel a little bit sorry for them. But you know, we've been on the receiving end of a few losses like that as well and it's not a nice feeling. So you enjoy the wins and hopefully you don't experience too many of the losses.” 

Byrne-Jones on reviewing the slow start to Sunday’s game 
“Yeah, I guess we sort of did the opposite against Geelong the week before. It's not something that's been an issue consistently. But it's hard to win games when you do give teams that that kind of start. Credit to Hawthorn, they were really good throughout the majority of the game and really, really tested us, especially in that first half. So, yeah, we'll look at a few things around the contest and, you know, try and make sure it doesn't happen again. 

“We prepare the same every week and energy was hired before the game and everyone was feeling really good. And you come out and give them a five-goal head start. So it's kind of hard to pin it on one thing, it’s probably a combination of things. So we'll change through a few things and try and come with a real energy and spirit to start the game this week.” 

Byrne-Jones on the momentum heading into Round 11 
“A lot of momentum I think. Obviously, yeah, things could have been a lot more sombre. So a lot of energy and excitement around the group now. So you know, we take that into this week.” 

Byrne-Jones on Charlie Dixon being rested this weekend 
“Yeah, Charlie was huge for us on the weekend in the ruck, especially when he went in there. And you know, he's a provider of energy for the group as well so we're going to have to step up. Todd (Marshall), Jez (Finlayson) and guys down forward, and me as well. So we're going to have to replace Charlie's energy and his presence as well.” 

Byrne-Jones on Ollie Lord’s progress toward being selected for the AFL side 
“I'm not sure. It’s probably something for Ollie and Kenny and the coaches to figure it out. But yeah, I’ll be excited when he does come back in because I think he's really promising player for us.” 

Byrne-Jones on his scoring output this season 
“I’ve probably been lucky to get a few ‘Joe the gooses’ over the top, which has helped. So yeah, I probably didn't expect to be kicking as many goals. And that's not what I've judged my game on down there, (my job is) to provide pressure and help the other boys out. So as long as I'm doing that, then hopefully the scoreboard ticks over. But yeah, try not to judge my game on how many goals I kick.” 

Byrne-Jones on backing the forward line 
“Yeah, for sure. I think they've all been building to start the season. We've been lucky enough that we've had contributions from lots of different guys throughout the year. So I'm really confident that they're going to continue to build and grow into the season and hopefully come to the pointy end of really playing some good footy.”  

Byrne-Jones on having Connor Rozee back this week 
“Yeah, obviously, he's just a really talented player. And it's exciting to have him back in the team. You know, he's really impressed me with his leadership style, coming in his captain this year, and it's exciting to have him back in.” 

Yartapuulti skipper Connor Rozee is expected to return against North Melbourne. Image: AFL Photos.

Byrne-Jones on Zak Butters being stand-in captain 
“Zak, he's been good. He's been really good. He has really grown into the leadership stuff as well and it's been really impressive. And obviously the way he plays you can't help but follow him. So it's been pretty, pretty seamless for those two boys. Those pre-game speeches before the game you don't tend to remember too much apart from the energy and enthusiasm, and Zak's got that in spades. So yeah, it's been exciting and funny, and he's been able to get the boys up and about, so it's been a good.”  

Byrne-Jones on Jordon Sweet being back from illness 
“Yeah, he trained really strongly today, so I'm sure he's put his hands up for selection. So I'm not sure what's happening there but he trained really strongly today.” 

Byrne-Jones on Ollie Wines following his heart episode on Sunday 
“He been up and about and I'm really excited to hopefully have him back. He been fine and I haven’t noticed a difference in him. So it's been good that he's been able to recover so quickly. It's something that Ollie’s sort of managed for the last few years so obviously, you have concern for him that he sort of put those concerns aside pretty quickly and said that he was feeling okay so once he tells you that, you feel a little bit better and it's obviously not an ideal situation to be in but it he's managed it really well.”