17/04/2024

Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma are raring to go ahead of their Round 1 debut. (Photo: Feliks J Woltersdorf)

North Melbourne's Colby Mckercher and Zane Duursma are buzzing with confidence ahead of their debut against Greater Western Sydney this Saturday.

North Melbourne young guns Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma are ready to make their eagerly anticipated debut this Saturday against the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Giants Stadium.

Taken with the second and fourth pick, respectively, in the 2023 AFL Draft, McKercher and Duursma state that they won’t be overwhelmed by the occasion.

“Right now, It’s just another game”, McKercher said.

“Obviously it’s an exciting time and I’m pumped to be out there.”

“But no more than what I would have been playing round one of the under 18’s last year.”

For Zane Duursma, his confidence coming into this weekend was built off the back of a good pre-season, and having a strong performance in North Melbourne’s Community Series hit out against St Kilda.

“That game definitely gave me a lot of confidence heading into this weekend”, Duursma said

“It was a really fast game … I adapted to it quickly, and I’m happy that I did”.

The high-flying forward has been excited to play alongside fellow spearhead forwards in Nick Larkey and Cameron Zuurhar. With his teammates in his corner, Duursma won’t hesitate to take the game on and fly for his marks.

“They get around me whenever I do (attempt a big mark)”, Duursma explained.

“It gives me that confidence to continue to do what I’m good at, that’s one of my strengths.”

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Zane Duursma full of confidence ahead of his Round 1 debut. (Photo: Feliks J Woltersdorf)

Playing your first game as the second pick of the AFL draft can have its own pressures, particularly externally. However, Colby Mckercher chooses to block out all noise and focus on the task at hand.

“I don’t really care to be honest”, McKercher stated.

“No outside narratives are going to affect the way I play.”

“(I’m) just treating it as another game, obviously there are more eyes on it … but I think I will be fine.”

Colby McKercher won’t overthink his first AFL game. (Photo: Feliks J Woltersdorf)

The North Melbourne youngsters have found that they have shared plenty of moments already in their career, from being drafted together now making their debut in Round 1. Both McKercher and Duursma relish in the fact that they will be creating a special memory together.

“It’s awesome, I think it’s going to bring us more together, debuting at the same club.” Duursma said.

“It’s going to be a pretty special moment”, McKercher remarked.

“Obviously getting drafted with Zane, we have both come in dreaming of Round 1 … hopefully it will be the first of many.”

McKercher and Duursma will also be joined by teammate Toby Pink making his long-awaited debut after returning to the league this past off season. 

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