Nankervis spreading his wings


WHILE it is stating the obvious, there is a world of difference between George Town and Sydney.

It's been one of the major adjustments that former North Launceston ruckman Toby Nankervis has had to make since being drafted to the Swans in November, a period of time in which he has been forced to learn to be more independent.

"The major difference has been living away from home, having to be independent, as you have to be able to cook, clean and look after yourself," the 19-year-old, who is living with teammates Tom Mitchell and Harry Cunningham in the suburb of Maroubra, told The Examiner this week.

But that change is obviously just the tip of the iceberg for Nankervis.

He admitted the increase in intensity from a training perspective, especially from a running point of view, had been a shock to his system, as well as being at the same club as the likes of Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes and Kieran Jack.

"I feel things are going all right at the moment for me," he said.

"But the good thing about Sydney is that there are so many good players around you, with the club being as strong as it has for the past few years, to help you if you need it."

While his AFL career is still very much in its infancy, Nankervis, who the Swans selected with pick 35 in last year's draft after he was overlooked in 2012, has already had some brief moments in the sun.

The first for last year's under-18 All Australian ruckman was in the Swans' last intraclub practice match, when he kicked three goals in the third quarter.

The second came in the NAB Challenge match against Greater Western Sydney when he again used the third term to get on the scoreboard.

Starting forward in that match, Nankervis finished with nine touches, two hit-outs and 1.0.

"It [that intraclub game] had that kick-up in intensity from training, and it was good experience to get a taste of what it's like, even though it was playing against teammates," Nankervis said.

"Against the Giants, it was just great to get a taste of it, and to get a feel of what it is like at the level, even though it is just a pre-season game."

He made the 29-man squad for Thursday's match against West Coast but was relegated to an emergency before the first bounce.

But despite the fact he is obviously in the selectors' minds heading towards round 1, he is not letting himself even contemplate the possibility of a debut in the "Battle of the Bridge" at Sydney Olympic Park's Spotless Stadium on March 15.

"It's not even on my mind and I'm not even looking far forward. There's still a long way to go for me."


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