Travis Varcoe (born April 10, 1988), is a professional Australian Rules Football player. Though only 179cm and 71kg, Varcoe is an exciting indigenous prospect with electrifying pace, and is often compared to fellow Aboriginal player Aaron Davey due to their similar incredible speeds, creativity, and reputations as great team players.
Selected with the 15th Pick in the 2005 National Australian Football League Draft by the Geelong Cats, Travis is entering his rookie season for the club.
With his wealth of talent, Travis Varcoe was on AFL scout radar's early on, building up an impressive resume as a junior footballer.
As a young, skinny 16 year old, Varcoe had helped his Central District's win the Under-17 premiership, and was already representing his state as an Under-16 player for South Australia.
His performances so impressive, that it was during that same year he was also awarded the prized AIS/AFL Academy scholarship, where young footballers are picked out early in their junior careers to be mentored in an annual program at the Australian Institute of Sport base.
As part of the Academy program, Varcoe donned the Australian guernsey with his fellow scholarship holders to tour Ireland in an International Rules series. The Australians were flogged by 40 points in the first Test and four days later, in Dublin, desperately needed to redeem themselves. Varcoe, showing courage, athleticism and strong team commitment, singlehandedly forced a draw to the series, diving to save a certain goal at a crucial moment in the second Test match. Ninety seconds later he was up the other end, his blistering pace contributing as he put the ball in the back of the net in what was effectively a 12-point play.
Varcoe returned from the tour as one of the star juniors in the land, his form such that he managed to break into the Central Districts senior side at just 17 years of age, blistering his way through packs in an exciting debut on Anzac Day in the top league in South Australia, the SANFL.
It was then, however, that tragedy struck. In just his second SANFL match, and coming off the high of his debut the previous week, Varcoe's left foot was stepped on in an incident in the packs, causing damage to his ligaments and bone, and ruling him out of anymore football for the rest of 2005. As a result he missed the Under-18 National Championships, a big week for AFL draft hopefuls to showcase their game, and restricted him at the National AFL Draft Camp.
Once considered a top 5 talent for the upcoming draft, speculation now surrounded where Varcoe would be picked in light of his injury. Geelong, however, decided it had seen enough of Varcoe, picking him up in the 1st Round of the draft with the 15th overall pick. At the conclusion of the draft, it was further announced that Varcoe would be one of 10 recipients of the AFLPA/Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship.
Hyped up as a potential bargain get for the Cats, with his electrifying speed, solid ball-handling skills, and team-first nouse set to further add to an already potent Geelong midfield, it was further announced that Varcoe would don the number 5 jumper for the 2006 AFL Premiership season.
Having been made famous by both Graham 'Polly' Farmer and Gary Ablett, two of the greatest players both the club and the game itself had ever seen, the jumper was brought out of its temporary retirement and handed to Varcoe at the presentation of jumpers late in 2005.
Now training freely without concern, Varcoe is looking to repay the Cats for their risk on him.