Port Adelaide young gun Xavier Duursma joined the AFL Players’ Association’s Instagram account for a live chat, including a question and answer section with fans. Here’s a breakdown of the best parts of the chat with AFLPA regional manager Bobby Quiney. 


On playing his junior footy in Foster, Victoria…

I played for the Corner Inlet Stingrays as a junior, which was the affiliate with Foster, Toora and Fish Creek. They merged teams because they didn’t have enough kids to play in a junior team. I played under-11s and under-13s there and then played for Foster. I’m very proud of my home team and my community so I try and give them a plug every now and then.

On dominating junior football…

I was lucky enough to play with the Victorian side from under-12s to under-18s. I wasn’t too bad as a kid but was also pretty lucky because we had a good junior team and won a few flags, which is always nice. That keeps giving you incentive to play footy. Playing AFL was my dream from about six or seven but you never really realise it until around Year 8 or 9, which is when it gets serious and you want to start getting the most out of yourself.

Popcorn as his go-to snack…

It’s been well-documented in the past that I am a massive fan of popcorn – microwaved or bags – as long as it is salted and has butter that’s my favourite snack. If I can choose, I want butter or salt. Caramel and chocolate flavoured popcorn is a bit of a waste of time really.

On the influence of his Dad…

Both of my parents have been very good to me in terms of the amount of kilometres we have had to travel over the years living in Foster. Our NAB League affiliate, Gippsland Power, was an hour away so sometimes we’d be driving two or three hours, three times a week for training. It was quite a lot of hours taken out from doing other family stuff because Mum and Dad were driving me to footy training, athletics, all my sport… they do a lot for me. I spent a lot of time in the car with my Dad talking footy, life, school so we have a really close relationship.

On being an AFL Players’ Association delegate…

I finished last year’s season and got a message from (AFLPA Regional Manager Jace Bode) ‘Bodey’ because Dougal Howard was traded to St Kilda and Tom Jonas is the other delegate. We really needed two more to come in because ‘TJ’ is the captain and has a lot on his plate already. Bodey sent Connor (Rozee) and myself a message and we both said yes. It sounded like a good idea and is something we’re interested in. It might be a bit weird being players who were only going into their second season but I thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s a bit different and gives us some exposure to other older players who are great players of the competition and gives us a chance to look at some issues that really impact the older guys but also offering a perspective for younger people that maybe the AFLPA didn’t have so much beforehand.

On the Prison Bar guernsey…

It’s a massive honour. I picked it up pre-game and it just felt special holding it in my hands. Getting to play in it in our 150th year is massive. It was hard to describe the feeling of actually getting to pull it on. Kicking a couple of goals in it is another bonus as well that I enjoyed immensely. It would’ve been better if we had a massive crowd there (at Adelaide Oval) but unfortunately due to the times we have we didn’t.

On the Port Adelaide and Adelaide rivalry…

I knew it was big but I didn’t know just how big it was until I got to SA and how deeply rooted it is in people’s livelihoods. Almost every second advertisement has something to do with the Showdown, every talk show, people are talking about it a couple of weeks beforehand… it is massive. To be able to play in a couple of them so far has been a massive honour.

On his love of Star Wars…

I’m as big as it gets in terms of the nerd aspect…

I have great respect for Episodes IV, V and VI. My favourite one is Episode III but I’m not a massive fan of the newest trilogy – I think they did a few things right and a few things wrong.