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Smooth transition

Brad McKenzie chats to about his return to AFL ranks last weekend. Brad McKenzie speaks to after his first AFL game for the season against Essendon on the weekend.

Brad McKenzie has praised his teammates for helping him make a solid return to AFL.

Speaking to on Tuesday, the 22-year-old said his fellow defenders had made the transition from VFL to AFL as easy as possible.

“It always helps when you’ve got Tazza (Robbie Tarrant) and Turbo (Scott Thompson) back there, always yelling at you during the game and telling you to set up,” McKenzie explained.

McKenzie, who collected 19 disposals in the win over Essendon, said he felt he was able to gel with the defensive group, despite it being his first game of 2016.

“They’re a very organised group and starting to get a lot of games under the belt with each other,” he said.

“That makes it easier to fit in in that regard but it’s always tough coming into AFL when you haven’t been playing for a fair while.

“We’re a tight group at the moment and communication goes a long way to helping us get the right setups.”

McKenzie had been in good form for Werribee prior to the call-up, but the situation which led to his AFL promotion was an unusual one.

“When the team’s winning and you’re in the VFL, it’s always going to be hard to get a game.

“But you never know when your opportunity will come up. I was carryover (emergency) the week before and it doesn’t happen too often that the carryover comes straight in the next week.

“I was pumped to be part of the team on the weekend and get another win on the board.”

Watch the full interview in the video at the top of the page