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Xerri's big challenge

Tristan Xerri (L) seeks advice from ruck coach Will Minson (R).

From pick 72 at the NAB AFL Draft, to taking on an All-Australian ruckman in match simulation; it’s been a whirlwind few months for Tristan Xerri. 

A lifelong North supporter, he grew up idolising Todd Goldstein. Now, he’s experiencing first-hand what makes him such a dominant ruckman. 

“Going up against Goldy was definitely tough, he’s got the weight, and (has got) about a decade of experience on me,” Xerri told North Media.

The emerging youngster admits he probably came off second best during Friday’s match simulation, but it was an invaluable learning experience.

“I felt I gave it my all, and tried to make sure that if he (Goldstein) was on top in the ruck contest, that my follow up efforts were there and I could help my midfielders get hands to the ball,” he said.

Xerri is enjoying having such a strong ruck contingent to lean on, with the likes of Braydon Preuss and Majak Daw also among the Roos’ big-man stocks.

“My ruckwork does need some work, but that will come with time, and being around blokes like Goldy, Preuss and Will (Minson – ruck coach) will definitely help me out with that,” he said.

“Those boys are all really good around the track. If I do something good they get around me, and they give pointers where I’m going wrong.

“It gives me confidence in my game having these guys around me.”

It’s not just the ruck group that has been helping Xerri settle into his first AFL pre-season though.

“I didn’t expect the all of the boys to be as welcoming and accommodating as they have been,” he added.

“We are all a pretty young group so everyone seems to get along and get around each other.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs