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Debut delight for Duman

Tom Fee  April 22, 2018 12:35 AM

Taylin Duman chats to Docker TV after making his AFL debut against the Bulldogs.

Taylin Duman enjoyed what he called a perfect start to his AFL career with Fremantle steamrolling the Western Bulldogs with a 54-point victory at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

The win was Freo’s biggest since round 12 of the 2016 season against Brisbane, allowing the 20-year-old to celebrate his debut in style.

The defender did everything senior coach Ross Lyon would hope for from an emerging player in their first AFL game, looking composed and collecting plenty of the footy with 15 disposals and four marks.

“It was unreal,” Duman said.

“Freo were fantastic tonight and it was a great experience out there.

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“It was definitely a lot quicker. You don’t have as much time out there but it was unbelievable. I loved it.”

While Duman credited his fellow defenders for making his transition into the backline a smooth one, he thanked the work of the players up the field for ensuring life was easy for the back six.

“It was a great start by the boys, the pressure was exceptional by the forwards and it gave the backs the best chances to close the exits,” Duman said.

“The boys down back were really helpful with setting me up and I really enjoyed playing with that group down there.

“It was pretty much identical (to playing with Peel). We train with the same systems down at Peel as at Freo so it felt pretty much the same.”

The rookie appeared relaxed pre-game but said he couldn’t help but be caught up in the occasion with 43,056 fans cheering Freo on.

“It wasn’t too bad, I was pretty calm and collected when we ran through the banner but the nerves picked up seeing the crowd,” Duman said.

“Once the ball bounced the nerves sort-of went away.”

It was an important introduction to the Purple Army with Duman set to jump into the pressure-cooker of the first ever Western Derby at Optus Stadium in round six.

“It’s going to be a huge game next week against the Eagles,” Duman said.

“We’re hoping for a big crowd so it was good to get the chocolates tonight.