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The “surprise” element of Archer’s impending North debut


Jackson Archer will make his debut for North Melbourne against Adelaide this weekend.

The 18-year-old defender will follow in his dad Glenn’s footsteps by donning the royal blue and white, some 15 years after his old man last graced the field for the club.

Archer Snr admits he didn’t expect Jackson to be drafted, let alone play for the Roos at AFL level.

“No, not really,” Archer said on SEN Breakfast when asked if he expected a debut.

“I wasn’t really expecting him to get drafted, so that was a bit of a surprise for us.

“But he’s gone in there, he’s worked really, really hard. You can’t knock his work ethic and he’s got himself a game, probably on the back of how hard he’s worked.

“Thankfully he’s not as bad tempered as I was. He does control his emotions.

“He defends really hard and tries to do his job every week which is all you can ask.”

The Shinboner of the Century outlined the type of player his son is and how he has worked his way to the top.

“He’s just been ultra dedicated,” he said of the 2021 draftee.

“He never misses a session, does a bit extra. He wanted to improve on his running and he did that.

“He’s a footballer that I like to watch. He tries hard, he’s not a possession getter, he’s a lockdown defender and I like defenders.

“He just tries his best and it’s worked for him.”

The former defender played 311 games for North, won two premierships, a Norm Smith Medal and was selected in three All-Australian teams, but it never looked like it would pan out that way when he was a junior.

Archer spoke of the similarities between himself and Jackson who has been building his game in the VFL since debuting in that grade last season.

“He’s probably taken the same path as me,” Archer said further.

“We were goth good junior footballers but we weren’t elite. I never thought I’d play either. I was a late developer and never played in any of the representative Victorian teams, neither did Jackson.

“I rocked up at North and we were down towards the bottom of the ladder and he’s gone to North and they’re down the bottom, so he’s taken the same path.

“Hopefully in a couple of years he gets the same sort of success, but just to get a game is an amazing feat for him.”

The debut announcement was an emotional moment between father and son, but Archer, who is known for being a hard man, could at least see the funny side of it.

“It was a weird call because he’s never FaceTimed me, so you’d think I would have picked it up pretty quick that they might have been doing something like that,” he explained.

“The emotions got the better of me and that video has popped up everywhere. One thing I’ve realised is I’ve got a massive head, I should have taken the phone back a little bit.”

Archer Jnr has been selected on the half-back flank in David Noble’s side that sits 17th on the ladder and takes on the 15th-placed Crows at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Sunday afternoon.

North Melbourne

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