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Xavier Duursma: A star on the rise

PHOTO: Port Adelaide FC – PTV

JH: Where did the bow and arrow celebration start?

XD: I started doing it my bottom year of TAC Cup when I was about 16 or 17, it comes from a Reggie Jackson/Jamal Murray kind of influence out of the NBA.

I love the NBA and I thought not many people in the AFL have celebrations like that, so I thought why not be different and have a bit of an identity of my own, so I just did it.

JH: Your first game at Adelaide Oval was against Carlton, what was the noise like?

XD: It is loud.

It was very nice to get a good win again, but Carlton put up a very good fight.

That home crowd, all the Port faithful getting around us was really good fun.

I hope to do it as many times as I can, because to experience once is great, and you want to do it as many times as you can.

JH: You learned a pretty tough football lesson against Richmond – how did you respond?

XD: It was pretty tough, I took it upon myself and I felt pretty terrible after that I missed it – I could’ve won us the game.

But there’s plenty of other things that can win you the game.

I just worked as hard as I could for that week and for the rest of the year and my set shot goal kicking.

I think my coaches were happy with me because I was able to take a big contested mark before that, and they love I had the guts to go and take it and try and do the right thing.

That’s just footy, it’s not gonna work out every time, you just have to improve and get better for the next time.

JH: You got your Rising Star nod against North Melbourne – the only club that didn’t speak to you ahead of the draft – how good was that?

XD: That was really nice, it doesn’t matter who it’s against, it’s just nice to get recognised.

It’s not what you do it for though, you want to win and we did win that night.

It’s a great little memento, a little bit of a nod for your game, you just want to play consistent as possible.

JH: You played in the first Showdown earlier this year, and you’re coming into your second – what do you remember about it?

XD: It was very, very hard.

Adelaide came out and set the tone early.

The atmosphere just doubles, and it is really one of the best rivalries going in the AFL.

When all the fans are there, it gets pretty wild.

It’s something I hope every Port and every Adelaide player gets to experience.

Hopefully we can get them back for what they did to us last time and make them pay.

I’m looking forward to it.

JH: How close are you with Connor (Rozee) and Zak (Butters)?

XD: We’re pretty close, which is good in terms of long-term relationships and staying with the club.

Those boys are good fun, Connor’s a great kid and Butsy’s always cheerful and a lot of talking and mischievous stuff going on.

Same as the other first year boys, we’re all a tight knit group, we’re sticking together – there’s eight of us.

It’s good because it’s a big group of us and we all get around each other.

JH: With your celebration as well, Fremantle’s Michael Walters did a bit of an imitation of it – what’d you think of that?

XD: I didn’t actually see it when he did it.

I was facing the other way and I didn’t see it at the time.

Obviously after the game, I got tagged in a few things on my phone.

I was like ‘ah, okay’.

It’s all good, at least he notices me, I took it that way – Michael Walters knows who I am.

I’ll try and get him back next time we play.

JH: Obviously there’s contract talks going on at the moment, do you think you’ll be at Port post-2020?

XD: I’m loving my time here, and I can see myself being a Port man for the next couple of years for sure.

JH: Anything else you’d like to add?

XD: I’m loving it, I hope we get a few fans down to Adelaide Oval on the weekend, and we get a nice big win.

I’m looking forward to it, I know the boys are, we trained well today.

I hope we give our best, and I know we will.

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Jack grew up in Gawler, South Australia – just 45 minutes north of Adelaide – and has a passion for all things football and soccer. Jack has worked in the media for more than four years, and hosts his own sports show on Barossa radio station BBBfm. He previously played football for Elizabeth, South Gawler, Gawler Central and at junior level with Central District, and is a die-hard Port Adelaide fan.