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“Seriously, I just got drafted…”: North draftee McKercher immediately cools Tassie talk


North Melbourne draftee Colby McKercher has no intentions of heading home anytime soon.

The talented midfielder was selected by the Kangaroos with Pick 2 in the first round of the 2023 AFL Draft on Monday night, recruited out of Launceston in Tasmania.

McKercher, who starred for the Tasmanian Devils U18 team in the Coates Talent League, has remarkably already been linked with a future move back to his home state to play with the AFL’s newest team in Tassie.

However, the 18-year-old is making a point to not get caught up with all the chatter pointing at the 2028 inception of the Tasmanian side, insisting he plans to be with the Roos for quite some time.

“I get a lot of it,” McKercher said on SEN’s Dwayne’s World.

“I just got drafted and somebody already asked me if I was looking forward to going home and playing for Tassie. I’m like, ‘Seriously, I just got drafted to a club’.

“Honestly, ideally I’d be at North Melbourne forever. I’d really be happy if people squashed that and just let me enjoy a new start to my life and being in a new state.”

The Allies U18 state star always knew he’d have to up and leave Tasmania if he wanted to realise his dream of becoming an AFL player such is the landscape of the national competition.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play AFL footy, and with being a Tasmanian you’d always have to move,” he added.

“I’ve been ok with the fact that I’d have to move. I have some family in Melbourne so I couldn’t be any happier with the result to be honest.

“I’m super excited to see where everything takes me.”

McKercher was not the sole Tasmanian to be drafted on Monday night.

The Western Bulldogs took North Launceston product Ryley Sanders (via the Sandringham Dragons) at Pick 6 and GWS selected Launceston native James Leake with Pick 17.

At the very least, one more Tasmanian in Arie Schoenmaker is expected to be taken on Tuesday night when the daft recommences.

It is a situation that bodes well for the future of footy on the Apple Isle.

“It’s awesome. I’m super proud of the boys who got picked up last night,” McKercher said of the Tassie talent.

“Hopefully we’ll have a few more to come over the next two days.

“There is a bit of a buzz in Tassie at the moment and I hope all the young kids watching back home are somewhat inspired and feel as if it’s a real dream that can happen for Tasmanians.

“It will be really good to see more get drafted in the future.”

McKercher was one of five draftees to land at Arden Street on the draft’s opening night, joined by Zane Duursma (Pick 4), Taylor Goad (Pick 20), Will Dawson (Pick 22) and Riley Hardeman (Pick 23).

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