"I got drafted today and someone already asked me if I was looking forward to going home and playing for Tassie and I'm like, 'seriously?'."
There was frustration in Colby McKercher's voice when interviewed on SEN's 'Dwayne's World' radio show after he was asked about the constant questions on whether he'd return to his home state once their football team entered the AFL.
Taken at pick two by North Melbourne in the AFL draft, the Launceston TSL product became the highest-drafted player ever to come through the Tasmanian pathway on Monday night, and the explosive midfielder was quick to announce his loyalty to the Roos.
"I just got drafted to the club and honestly, ideally I'd be in North Melbourne forever, so I'd really be happy if people squash that and just let me enjoy a new start to my life and being in a new state," he said.
With fellow Launceston teammate Arie Schoenmaker predicted to be picked as well - alongside potentially two or three other Tasmanian prospects - McKercher was excited to be a part of a great moment in the state's football history.
"I'm super proud of the boys that got picked up last night and hopefully we have a few more to come over the next two days," he said.
"There is a bit of a buzz going on in Tassie at the moment and I hope all the young kids watching back home are somewhat inspired, and feel as if it's a real dream and that it can happen for Tasmanians back home."
Added to that, his eagerness to stay with the Kangaroos was not borne out of disliking his home state, rather he can't wait to see how Tasmania fairs as they build a team of their own.
But most of all, the self-proclaimed 'footy nut' just wants to get started.
"I'm in a pretty good spot in terms of my physical fitness right now, so I think I'm ready to go and I can't wait to put the boots on and get started with all the boys," he said.
McKercher was parroting the words of his close friend Sanders, who spoke to the Bulldogs follow the draft.
"I'm just super blessed to be able to join such a great team, they've got such a good list and I'm just keen to meet all the boys and get stuck in," Sanders said.
While many predicted McKercher would relocate to Arden Street, there was less certainty on where his Allies teammate would go, but Sanders said the move to Footscray was not a surprising one.
"I try to keep away from phantom drafts but I found myself looking at them and most of them were saying the Bulldogs, so when I saw that I was just like, 'wow, it'd be so good to join the Dogs'," he said.
"And then I've spoken to my manager the last few nights and he was pretty confident I'd end up there, but you're just not sure until it actually happens."
The Bulldogs finished one spot out of the top eight this year, while the Kangaroos came 17th with three wins to their name.
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