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Tristan Xerri re-signs

Nick Bowen - AFL.com.au  May 17, 2018 3:30 PM

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Tristan Xerri interview.

First-year North Melbourne ruckman Tristan Xerri has been rewarded for his encouraging start at Arden St with a contract extension until the end of 2020.

Xerri had been contracted until the end of 2019 after the Kangaroos took him with pick No.72 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, but this week he signed a one-year extension.

The 19-year-old said he was excited to re-sign and had relished the opportunity to learn from older ruck colleagues Todd Goldstein and Braydon Preuss and ruck coach Will Minson.

"I didn't really expect to get an extension this early on. I think it was round six when I got informed (it was on the cards), and I was pretty stoked with that," Xerri said.

"It's been lots of fun working out on the track with big 'Preussy'. He's not the easiest bloke to move around, it's a good challenge.

"And learning from 'Goldy' and big Will, when we do the vision … all three of them have been huge, lots of help."

Although Goldstein, 29, has continued his long reign as North's No.1 ruckman across 2018's opening eight rounds, Xerri's early form in the VFL and on the training track suggests he has a bright future in the royal blue and white.

In his four VFL games this year, Xerri has been named in the Roos' best players in all bar one match.

While Preuss has handled the bulk of the Roos' VFL ruck duties, Xerri has still averaged 11 hit-outs a game and provided an effective target in attack, kicking a total of five goals.

In last Sunday's curtain-raiser at Etihad Stadium, Xerri produced perhaps his best performance, kicking three majors in North's 88-point loss to Richmond. 

"It was good to get a few (goals) on the weekend and take a few grabs," he said.

"I would have liked a better result, but it was a good experience running out on Etihad against a few of the Richmond boys. They're a very talented side."

At 201cm, Xerri is strong in the air – he has taken 15 marks over the past two rounds – and a tough competitor.

He also comes from a family of staunch North supporters, making his re-signing even sweeter.

"Dad was pretty excited and so was Mum. It was really good," Xerri said.