Tassie talent Colby McKercher makes top-five pick after stellar season

Colby McKercher is in the running to be among the first handful of players selected in this year’s draft.

Colby McKercher during the U18 National Championships double header on July 9, 2023. Photo: AFL Photos

IN COLBY McKercher’s preparation for his AFL career there have been countless days of training, extra skills sessions, the weight room and gym, late nights of touch perfecting his shots elite footwear.

But the Tasmanian talent, who made the top five in November’s AFL draft, is also preparing for the off-field change that comes with being selected by an AFL club and moving: he’s been honing his culinary skills . in advance.

“I love to make a carbonara and it’s usually before the game, but I really like to make any type of stir-fry, maybe a butter chicken too. I cook a lot of things and I can’t get enough of it. not always, but I try to get better. It’s one of my great passions,” he said AFL.com.auIt is Obtainable.

“I like to tell clubs that I really love cooking. I got that from my mother and I’m learning as I go. I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m getting more and more skilled.”

McKercher found the recipe for a successful draft season this year, putting himself in contention to be one of the first players selected. The left-footed midfielder dominated the Allies in their Under-18 Championship victory, averaging 33 disposals and finishing second in the Larke Medal. He was just as damaging for the Tasmanian Devils in the Coates Talent League, averaging 29 disposals and more than a goal per game during a dominant campaign.

His season ended on Sunday, when Tasmania were beaten by the Eastern Ranges in the preliminary final, but McKercher made 20 disposals and scored the first goal after missing several weeks with a broken foot.

After putting his name on the map last year as a backcourt player, McKercher said he was “super happy” with his progress.

“The Allies were something pretty special and I’m really proud of what we got to achieve there and with the Devils as well,” he said.

“One thing I didn’t really get right last year was consistency and I felt like I did that really well this year starting with the same preparation and mindset every week and trying to give the best of myself.

“I love going against other top players – on any given day someone can get the better of someone – but if you’re in the same place then let’s fight and have a really good competition. I’m super competitive and I play big matches and play against big players.

McKercher studies Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Chad Warner and Errol Gulden as midfielders with their mix of inside and outside, with his speed and agility also making him a multi-weapon player.

The Launceston product said growing smaller has given him some tricks to play with now.

“I was actually a very small kid. That’s probably where I got my speed and agility from. I was always playing with older people, so I had to run around them and not try to outrun each other. get hit, otherwise they would knock me to the ground. During ninth grade, I started to grow a little taller. I always thought I would be very short, but I started to experience a growth spurt that was good,” he said.

Earlier this season, the League awarded Tasmania a license for the 19th AFL club, after a lengthy process. McKercher is comfortable moving away and doesn’t believe the club that selects him will have to worry about a factor of coming home later, but has seen enthusiasm building for a Tasmanian team.

“It’s super exciting because we have so many passionate people around and there’s a lot of talk about Team Tassie,” he said. “So many people are very excited, so it’s good for the state.”

McKercher trained at Collingwood earlier this year as part of the AFL Academy program but grew up a Carlton fan: “My hero was Chris Judd. That’s pretty much why I opted for for Carlton, I loved him.” The top of the draft faces some movement during the trade period, so McKercher will wait before getting too attached to where his future might lie.

“Everything I think about isn’t going to change the outcome in the end. So much can change, trades can happen, so my worry about where I’m going to go or end up isn’t going to change an I consider “this as a simple effort to improve myself every day and prepare myself to join any AFL club,” he said.

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