Debut ruckman Lloyd Meek wanted nothing more than to celebrate a win on debut against Melbourne on Saturday, but he felt truly lucky to go through the experience of making his debut with his family and friends cheering him on.

After being drafted in 2017, the 22-year-old waited more than three years to get his opportunity at the top level, but said it was all worth it as he ran out onto the MCG.

“I’m shattered that we couldn’t get it done and couldn’t get the win but it’s a pretty special place to run out, at the home of footy,” Meek said.

“It was a heated game, you definitely notice the step up in intensity. I really embraced and enjoyed being out there and being on the MCG for round one, that’s a very special feeling.”

Meek said he felt the love from his family and friends, many of whom made the two and a half hour journey to the MCG from Mininera in regional Victoria.

“It was special to have them down here in the rooms before the game for my jumper presentation and again after the game,” Meek said.

“As I was walking up I had a heap of mates from all areas of Victoria come down and they were all cheering us on from the boundary line and that was really special as well.

“The amount of people and messages…everyone has reached out to me and it’s been quite overwhelming. It’s a pretty special feeling to know how many people who are behind me and it means so much.”

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Lloyd Meek | Jumper Presentation

Watch as Dave Mundy presents Lloyd Meek with his guernsey before he makes his debut on the big stage.

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While Melbourne star Max Gawn helped the Demons win the hitouts 40-17, Meek’s work helped Freo win the clearance battle 35-27.

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Senior coach Justin Longmuir praised the work of Meek after being handed a massive task on debut.

“I thought he competed all day. We asked a lot of him, he was up against (Luke) Jackson and Gawn and he just competed,” Longmuir said.

“I knew he'd compete, I knew he'd try and halve the ruck contest, he probably got beaten in the hitouts but I didn't think the effectiveness was there and he gave our mids a chance.”

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