By ZAC MILBANK
Kysaiah Pickett has been labelled an excitement machine and it didn’t take long for the AFL world to find out why after his eye-catching debut on Sunday night.
Lining up in his first match for Melbourne against West Coast in Perth, the Torrens University Draft Target dazzled with his skills, hard running and goal sense to suggest he will be more than a handful for opposition defenders.
Playing in front of his family, including his Norm Smith Medal-winning uncle Byron, the Woodville-West Torrens draftee finished with 11 disposals while registering five score involvements and hitting the scoreboard for 2.2.
The classy small forward’s two goals came with his trademark natural instinct, the first after waiting for the ball to fall over the back of the pack before pouncing for a left-foot snap from 25m.
Pickett’s second goal came after fellow debutant Toby Bedford produced a great smother and handballed to the 18-year-old South Australian, who didn’t break stride while finishing on the run from 20m in front.
Measuring in at just 171cm and 70kg, Pickett displayed his elite speed and running power by almost constructing a contender for Goal of the Year earlier in the contest.
After farming out a handball to Jack Viney across the half-back line, he put the jets on to then gather a loose ball at half-forward before his flying shot on goal from 45m narrowly missed.
The solo effort drew great praise from former Western Bulldogs champion Brad Johnson.
”That was a huge run, how good was that?” Johnson said on the Fox Footy Channel.
Selected with pick No.12 in last year’s AFL Draft, Pickett was the first of last year’s Torrens University SA Under-18 team to make his debut at elite level.
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