North Melbourne has taken Tasmanian midfielder Colby McKercher with its first selection and the second overall of the 2023 AFL Draft.
A prolific ball-winner with eye-catching speed and a sharp left foot, McKercher has the ability to explode away from stoppages and create forward-half opportunities for his teammates.
Hailing from Launceston, he helped the Tasmania Devils reach the U18 Boys Coates Talent League preliminary finals for a second year running, averaging 29 disposals and a goal per game inside the team’s engine room.
His strong nine-appearance campaign saw him feature in the Coates Talent League Team of the Year, as well as tie for the Morrish Medal alongside Geelong Falcons midfielder Patrick Hughes.
He was also dominant in the Allies' undefeated run towards its maiden U18 Boys National title, earning All-Australian honours and narrowly finishing second in the Larke Medal to fellow Tasmanian Ryley Sanders.
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The 18-year-old’s ability to break open and win games was on display at RSEA Park in July as he collected 32 possessions, eight clearances and two goals to lead the team to an 11-point win over Vic Country and seal the title.
McKercher’s arrival at North Melbourne via pick No.2 makes him the first top-five selection from Tasmania since Kade Kolodjashnij was drafted by the Gold Coast with pick No.5 in 2013.
"I can't wait to get to know (senior coach Alastair Clarkson) better and learn off him and improve my game and hopefully be a part of something special," he said on Monday night.
"It's probably been the best day of my life so far. A super exciting moment."
North Melbourne legend Brent Harvey was on hand at Marvel Stadium to present him with his first Kangaroos guernsey.