Main content
United by Purple

Rookie relishes a versatile role

Taylin Duman is proud of his Turkish background and even more proud he made it onto an AFL list Taylin Duman is proud of his Turkish heritage

After playing most of 2016 at half-back in the TAC Cup, Taylin Duman arrives at Fremantle with a reputation of being able to play anywhere on the ground. 

The 192cm Duman started the year in the midfield for the Oakleigh Chargers, but showed his versatility when he was asked to move into the backline.

“Most of 2016 I was on half-back. I started as an inside mid at the start of the year but we had a few injuries so they put me down back and I really liked it there,” Duman said.

“I haven’t been given a set position yet (at Fremantle), but I don’t mind running off half back and pushing onto the wing as well.”

“It’s a big ground here in WA and that wing would suit me.”

It’s been a whirlwind week for Duman after being taken last Monday in the NAB Rookie Draft - flying over to Perth on Tuesday and travelling to the Stirling Ranges on Wednesday for a development camp with his fellow first and second-year players.

Today, Duman took part in his first training session with the Fremantle side, and the 18-year-old is looking forward to transitioning into life as an AFL footballer.

“It’s been really good, all the boys have been welcoming,” Duman said.

“I spent a few days getting to know the younger boys at camp last week, and it’s been good so far.

“I got to know them pretty well, seeing as we were sleeping on top of each other in the shelter. It was challenging and we all got through it.”

“A few of the second year boys really helped the younger boys. Sam Collins was a good leader in there and really pushed us through.

Duman wasn’t one to feel sorry for himself at development camp, after initially missing out on his AFL dream at the National Draft.

“The Saturday and Sunday (after the National Draft) I was a bit disappointed, but I had the Rookie Draft in my sights and I knew I was another chance to, hopefully, get picked up,” Duman said.

“I had a couple meetings with Fremantle throughout the year and at the draft combine as well. But obviously they didn’t guarantee anything.”

With a Turkish-born father, Duman agreed it would be “pretty special” to join former Western Bulldogs player Sedat Sir as a player of Turkish heritage to make it to AFL level.

“I was always straight footy, but my brother and dad were soccer players,” Dumas said.

“Dad moved over from Turkey when he was young, and I started out in Auskick.”

As a rookie, Duman is also taking inspiration from another group of Bulldogs players.

“Watching the grand final last year, almost half of them came off the rookie list,” Duman said.

“It’s definitely something to strive towards.”

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