It all starts now for Xavier Duursma at the Bombers.
Joining the club via the 2023 trade period, Duursma brings a new layer to the side’s mix of midfield-forward talent after 73 games with Port Adelaide across five seasons.
It took time to adjust to the change in surroundings, but Duursma’s now ready to attack the pre-season with his new teammates since returning to Victoria.
“It’s obviously been a bit of a tumultuous couple of months (with the trade period) and a bit of a new experience for me, but at the same time I’m really excited and it’s been bloody good to be here at the club,” Duursma said.
“It’s nice to be around a few other Gippsland boys. We’ve gelled a fair bit straight away, especially with Ben (McKay) who I knew a little bit previously, that’s obviously helped integrate us both.
“(Dyson Heppell) is a legend of the club, he’s been fantastic taking me under his wing and getting around me as much as he can.”
Duursma believes his experience with the Power will help his transition to new colours as he begins to integrate into pre-season training.
The 23-year-old is steadily working his way back into the mix after a hip injury, tracking nicely heading into the Christmas break as the Bombers lay the groundwork for the year ahead.
“I’ve been able to take a fair bit of learnings from what (Port Adelaide) were able to do well and I can see that there’s a really good translation coming to the Bombers,” Duursma said.
“I can see the boys coming back in absolutely fantastic shape and that’s the start of (setting) up what we’re going to be able to achieve, the attitudes have been really good.
“I had some hip stuff coming in from the back end of last season, so I’m just trying to get as much physio and rehab work all through that to make everything stronger across my hips and it’s coming along well.”
“I’m making good progressions and will hopefully start to run in the next few days.”
Although primarily used in roles as an outside midfielder and winger to date, Duursma’s courage and aerial traits have usually been a standout at his best.
Looking to balance both sides of his game, Duursma is staying open to enjoying different positions and incorporating his strengths within the Bombers’ system as they look ahead to a new season.
“That outside midfield role (is) where I feel I can do some damage, but at the same time I feel my inside work can be a strength as well, going in there to win the hard ball,” Duursma said.
“My running power when I’m up and going is a strength of mine as well, so I’ll be able to get up and down the ground, forward and back, and try to hit the scoreboard.
“It’s going to be a long year ahead and we’re looking forward to that, but we’ve got to do all the work first before we get there.
“In the long run that (pre-season training block) is going to help us get to where we eventually want to be and succeed in the long-term.”