RMC Medallist Duursma proud of Power campaign

RECENTLY crowned Rookie Me Central Medal winner Zane Duursma says he’s “proud” of the season Gippsland Power put together, having bowed out of the Coates Talent League premiership race over the weekend.

>> Duursma snatches RMC Medal in final round

Duursma was restricted to one final quarter goal but was among his side’s more prominent players with 17 disposals, eight marks and five inside 50s in the 17-point loss to minor premier, Tasmania. Speaking post-game, he was pleased with how far the group got in 2023.

“I was very happy, very proud of Gippsland Power,” he said. “Heading into this season we didn’t think we’d get as far as we did but I was pretty happy with that.

“I had a little bit of a slow start but other than that I think the second half of the year definitely picked up which was good.”

Individually, Duursma put together a sparkling campaign and finished with a flurry to be crowned the competition’s leading goal kicker. He bagged 33 majors in 12 games, including seven hauls of three or more and a high of six against Bendigo Pioneers in Round 15.

His rampant form came upon reverting back to a more primary role up forward after the National Championships, though the 18-year-old is still very much a lively pinch-hitter in midfield. Now, Duursma has only solidified his status as a top five prospect.

Duursma watches a goal sail through | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

The third of four Duursma siblings, Zane had the opportunity to turn out alongside younger sibling Willem this year – not only for seven games with Gippsland, but also back home with local club, Foster. It was among the many “awesome” experiences of Duursma’s year.

He played a key part in Vic Country’s Under 18 campaign and made the cut for this year’s National Academy. Having trained with Melbourne during the preseason, he also earned dual VFL berths with Casey Demons.

“I loved playing alongside my younger brother, it was good,” he said. “I haven’t done it since Under 14s so it’s been lots of fun for the last few games… The AFL Academy, that was a really good experience and probably one of my favourite to date.”

Duursma identified the likes of Harley Reid and George Stevens as a couple of outstanding teammates, while his “toughest test(s)” came in representative games against the Allies and Western Australia. With his season now coming to a close, the smooth moving mid-forward will now look towards the draft combine.

Part of the 61-player list set to test in Melbourne for the National Combine, Duursma says it will be a “tough” but enjoyable event. He’s not getting too far ahead of himself when it comes to looking at draft boards though, and has a “suspicion” he won’t be ending up at Port Adelaide with siblings Xavier and Yasmin.

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