From Letters with an AFL Star to Under 18 All-Australian: Meet Star Dragon Fischer McAsey
From a childhood letter exchange with Western Bulldogs legend Matthew Boyd to Under 18 All-Australian honours, the journey of Fischer McAsey is a captivating one.
McAsey, who has demonstrated eye-opening ability at either end of the ground, appears set to attract interest from numerous AFL clubs after an impressive season, which included selection in the Under 18 All-Australian team at centre half-back.
For the now 195cm key-position prospect, the footballing journey dawned at East Brighton’s Hurlingham Park, where a strong Vampires junior team was established alongside a handful of fellow current Sandringham Dragons.
As a young Bulldogs fan, it’s no surprise McAsey looked up to Boyd.
He took things a step further, though, and took it upon himself to become more than acquainted with the AFL star.
“I used to write letters to him and he’d write back, and we’d have a bit of a letter chain,” he said.
“I’d see him at family days and got to know him, which was nice. Being a young fan, that was pretty exciting.”
Perhaps it was an early sign of the same drive and dedication that are today such prominent features of McAsey the footballer.
Indeed, while his athleticism, marking power and versatility are clear traits of his game, such attributes appear to be well-complemented by an equally impressive mindset, motivated by the rewards of self-improvement, determination to serve the team, and simply, the enjoyment of playing the game.
“I like seeing improvement in myself. It always spurs me to keep looking for things to work on,” he explained.
“I love the feeling of playing in a team. Anything I can do to get better, I’ll do it, because I enjoy it.
“I just get enjoyment from playing the game.”
Over 2019, McAsey has split time between defence and attack, playing both as a key defender and key forward, impressing in both roles.
During the Under 18 National Championships playing in defence for Vic Metro against the Allies, McAsey drew strong attention after taking seven marks with six rebound 50s, while also gathering 19 disposals.
A month later, showcasing his talent up forward for the Dragons against the Stingrays in round 14 of the NAB League, McAsey took 10 marks and kicked three goals, leading Sandringham to a seven-point win.
It seems fitting, then, that McAsey models his game off AFL contested-marking beast Aaron Naughton, who has become known for his ability at both ends.
“Watching him every week, I love the way he plays,” McAsey said.
“I’m nowhere near his level, what he’s been doing at AFL level has been incredible … but I certainly want to model my game off him because he’s such a great player and [I want] to be able to go back and forward and impact aerial contests.”
Quizzed on whether he prefers to play back or forward, McAsey’s team-first attitude again shone through.
“It probably depends a little bit on the situation of the team or what they need,” he said.
“Maybe I’m a bit more consistent as a defender, but when I’m playing my best I can impact more as a forward, that’s where I see it at the moment.”
An accomplished junior basketballer, McAsey also played four seasons at the Melbourne Tigers under the tutelage of Australian legend Andrew Gaze as coach, though never seriously considered pursuing anything other than football.
“I did enjoy basketball as well, but I sort of always knew footy was where I wanted to go,” he reflected.
“[The decision] was pretty easy in the end for me.”
A hard worker on and off the field, McAsey has also developed a strong psychological interest, which earnt him a VCE study score of over 40 for psychology 3/4.
“I’ve got a bit of an interest in psychology and the mind as well, how that can affect footy and life and just general wellbeing,” he explained.
“I’m always researching that sort of thing as well.”
After winning the APS premiership this season for Caulfield Grammar in a three-way tie with Haileybury and Carey, McAsey seems a pivotal piece of the Dragons’ finals puzzle, and will look to taste NAB League glory in coming weeks.