KADE Kolodjashnij says he learnt one key lesson from his tough initiation to AFL when he came face-to-face with Ross Lyon's ferocious Fremantle outfit at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
"You just learn how quick you need to be, as their pressure is just unbelievable," Launceston's No.5 draft pick recalled yesterday about his 19-possession debut.
"As soon as you get the footy, you are under the pump, as you only have about half a second to react, or they just tackle you."
The 18-year-old admitted to nerves in the warm-up, but two early possessions (including the first kick of the game after staring in the midfield) helped calm his down, with prematch words of wisdom from skipper Gary Ablett also helping.
"Gaz came up to me before the game and just told me to play my role and don't expect to get too many touches in your first game and enjoy the moment."
He did the majority of his work on a wing and across half-back, with midfield stars Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow among the opponents he crossed paths with in the Suns' 48-point loss.
Of his 19 possessions, 11 were uncontested, he took two marks, laid four tackles, had five clearances, four inside-50s (the second most for the Suns), two rebound 50s and applied 10 pressure acts.
"I was pretty happy with my first outing, as I wasn't expecting too much going into the game, and I just wanted to play my role for the team, and I believe I did that for most of the game.
"They (the coaching staff) were happy with how I went, and there are some areas that I need to work on, but I found what I can do and what I can't do at AFL level.
"In that fourth quarter I was cramping pretty much everywhere, so I was pretty sore after the game, both mentally and physically."
Kolodjashnij, whose twin brother Jake is on Geelong's list, will be hoping to keep his place for next week's Q-Clash against Brisbane.