Parish, the No.5 draft pick in last year’s National Draft, will be forced to make the giant leap from TAC footy to AFL due to the decimated Essendon squad after the guilty Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict. And Bird, who played 137 games for Sydney between 2008 and 2015 before crossing to the Dons at the end of last season, believes Parish is up for the challenge.
“I’m expecting Darcy to have a pretty big impact this year,” Bird told foxsports.com.au.
“He showed that he’s pretty comfortable at AFL level already.
“I think he’s going to be a really good player to be honest. He’s shown some really good signs.”
Meanwhile, Bird said he that it’s not all doom and gloom for the Bombers this year, despite the suspension of 12 current players.
“You never know what’s going to happen, we might surprise a few teams,” he said.
“We’ve got to keep building these young guys. You just never know what can happen, things change really quickly in AFL.”