Brendan Myers was determined to make his mark after his late call-up for Sunday’s game. (PHOTO CREDIT: Northern Blues Football Club)
It all happened very quickly for Brendan Myers.
Settling down to watch North Melbourne take on Carlton on Saturday night, Blues captain Marc Murphy went down with injury in the warm-up prior to the match.
Nick Graham came out of the VFL team and into the AFL team, and Myers’ phone buzzed five minutes into the game.
The message was from senior coach Josh Fraser, and it read: “Be ready for tomorrow, you’re in.”
The recruit from Wagga said the correspondence from the coach and the circumstances surrounding his debut made him even more determined to make his mark.
“Unfortunately Marc went down in the warm-up in Tassie, which ended up giving myself the opportunity for Sunday,” Myers said.
“Obviously it was really exciting running out with a new bunch of boys, and putting a new guernsey on.
“It was a fairly physical game given the conditions, so I really enjoyed it.”
Despite turning just 19 years of age in February, the strongly-built midfielder threw his weight around on his way to finishing with 13 disposals (10 contested) and five tackles.
One of seven inclusions on the weekend, Myers reflected the bigger picture for the Blues: he’s one of 12 Northern debutants already in 2018, and was one of 16 players from the weekend aged 21 or under.
“It’s a very exciting group to be around, with a lot of quality players and blokes,” Myers said.
“I can’t wait to see what we can achieve for the season, there’s still a long way to go. I’m really excited.”
Last week, senior coach Josh Fraser said the exposure given to the club’s youngsters in the early going would hold Northern in good stead going forward.
With his first game under his belt and having experienced a taste of VFL football, Myers said he was itching to notch up game number two whenever that comes.
“There was a big shift. We’re proud of the growth that we’ve shown, but obviously it was disappointing to not come away with the result."
The message from @jfraser17 ????
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) April 17, 2018
“My goal is to keep playing VFL football — making my debut on Sunday gives me huge confidence and motivation to go forward as a group,” Myers said.
Unfortunately for Myers and the Blues, he wasn’t part of the inner winners’ circle post-match as Northern went down by three points in a grandstand finish.
The midfielder said the Blues would learn from the circumstances of the last quarter as they freshen up with a bye this weekend.
“I think a lot of positives came out of the game: however, we obviously didn’t finish the job off, which was disappointing,” Myers said.
“We made a few silly mistakes as a team, which made it harder to get over the line on the day.
“Embracing the moment was something that will be really important for us going forward.”
The Northern Blues’ next game will come on Saturday, April 28 against reigning premiers Port Melbourne.