A bigger and stronger Xavier Duursma says it was “a very easy choice” to recommit his future to Port Adelaide, and he is now eyeing off a permanent role in the club’s midfield brigade.
Duursma on Monday extended his contract with Port Adelaide for another two seasons, tying him to Alberton until the end of 2024.
The 21-year-old says he is now able to focus on his goal of fitting amongst the Power’s midfield rotation and he will look to learn from Brownlow Medallist Ollie Wines and the experienced Travis Boak and Robbie Gray among others.
“I went away in the off-season with the goal to put on 3-4 kilos, which I’ve done,” Duursma said during a press conference on Monday.
“I’ve come back at 86 kilos and obviously you need that size to play midfield to be able to bash and crash with the big bodies.
“Now I’ve got to train and get more idea with the stoppage craft, how to play and position your body so you’re where you need to be. I’ve been really trying to focus on that.
“It’s going to be really good for me to learn from Boaky, Robbie, Ollie plus some other really good players who rotate through there… and the coaches as well because they are a good resource for us too.”
His added size has come with some challenges, as he works hard to increase his fitness.
“It’s taken me a bit longer to get to where I am,” he said.
“I’m trying to adjust to a bit of a new body with a few more kilos. I was always a very skinny kid and running has always been easy for me so I’m just in that bit of an adjustment period.
“I feel like I’m getting there and the fitness staff are all happy so far.”
Duursma is feeling fighting fit after a 2021 season interrupted by a serious knee injury, which sidelined him for three months.
Apart from some tendonitis late in the campaign, he said his knee is feeling strong.
With his body sorted and his future at Alberton secure, the Gippsland Power product has set himself some important goals along with his midfield shift.
“I also want to become a good part of the leadership group and take that further, as well as being part of a successful team,” Duursma said.
“I think we have a really good base and really good players. We’ve got a good young core and really good leaders at the club and it’s about now building towards going one or two steps further than what we’ve been able to do in the last couple of years.”
Along with Duursma, Todd Marshall and Kane Farrell also signed contract extensions on Monday.
The trio were described by Port Adelaide List Manager Jason Cripps as a big part of the young group the club had built its list around.
Duursma’s fellow 2018 draftees Connor Rozee and Zak Butters are also key components. With that duo coming out of contract at the end of 2022, Duursma said he hoped Rozee and Butters would follow suit.
“I love playing with them and I think everyone else loves watching them or playing with them so I don’t think it’ll be too much of a stretch for them to sign; I don’t think they’ll be too far away,” Duursma said.
“I can’t really comment too much on it in terms of when it might be but I hope it’ll be soon because they’re very important to the club and we all value them highly.”