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NAB experience Duryea's key

Kate Salemme  February 6, 2013 4:45 PM

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Taylor Duryea is looking to impress coaches during the NAB Cup.

AFTER missing out on senior selection in 2012, Hawks youngster Taylor Duryea has his eyes set on the NAB Cup to gain senior experience.

Yet to make his AFL debut, the 21 year old is now in his fourth year at the Club and with that comes the determination to finally get the chance to prove he can be a role player for the Hawks in 2013.

The first step towards that, Duryea says is impressing during the Club’s NAB Cup campaign where he’ll gain valuable experience at AFL level.

“It’s just all (pre-season training) heading towards the first NAB Cup which is my main focus,” he told hawthornfc.com.au

“For me, it’s a bit of match conditioning and if I can get more experience at NAB level, which, in a sense is AFL level then that will really help me for the season.

“It’s basically just to get more exposure at that level against AFL players, that’s the aim.”

Drafted to the Club as a small forward, Duryea has found a home in defence, a position he has played at Box Hill for the past 18 months.

He was frank in his assessment of his career to date, admitting it took him at least 12 months to settle into a rhythm.

Under the tutelage of mentor and Assistant Coach Luke Beveridge and Box Hill Coach Damian Carroll, the defender has the confidence and belief now, to take his game to the next level after strong performances in the VFL in 2012.

“My first year was very inconsistent and even until halfway through my second year I was very up and down,” he said.

“Now, I’ve found my position down back and for the last 18 months I’ve played some good footy.”

Such was his good form that he was pushing his case for senior selection in the latter stages of 2012, named as emergency in the second half of the season.

The level-headed Duryea understands though, that it can be tough breaking into a balanced and settled side.

“I was in the picture which is always the aim for a young guy, as long as you’re putting your hand up for selection that’s all you can really do,” he said.

“My form came late in the season, which is a good and bad thing - yes, you’re playing good footy at the right time of the year, but it can be harder to break your way into the team because the senior side is so consolidated.

“But I was glad to be close last year.”

Hawthorn take on Gold Coast and Brisbane at Metricon Stadium on 23 February.

 

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