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Melbourne Football Club

Dean delighted to have debuted

It was an honour to put on the Melbourne jumper and run out on the MCG against Carlton, in front of a lot of supporters and Carlton supporters as well, so it was a good feeling.
Dean Kent

DEAN Kent says his first AFL match was everything he expected it to be and more, although there were some mixed emotions attached to his debut.

Although he couldn’t hide his delight at playing for the first time, Kent said he didn’t expect to play as early as he did against Carlton at the MCG on Sunday – he started as a sub and replaced injured co-captain Jack Grimes in the opening term.

“I saw Grimes go down and Misso (Dave Misson) told me to have a couple of warm-up laps, just to make sure I’m fresh, if Grimesy’s not OK to come back on,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“Grimesy ran into the rooms and Gary [Nicholls] came out and said ‘he’s no good’, so off came the green vest and [I went] out on the field.

“It was disappointing for Grimesy, but I had a good run out, so it was good.”

Kent was also part of a 61 point loss, which was part of the reality of the highest level, as he explained.

“Welcome to AFL footy. It was tough, but I’m sure the boys will build on it and we’ve got Gold Coast next week, so we’ll improve on that,” he said.  

“It was good to get the first game out of the way.

“It was an honour to put on the Melbourne jumper and run out on the MCG against Carlton, in front of a lot of supporters and Carlton supporters as well, so it was a good feeling.”

Kent said he received some guidance from mature age recruits Dean Terlich and Matt Jones before the match, which helped settle him.

“Terls and Matt Jones said it was quick out there - they just said ‘use your leg speed and try to get onto a few’, so it was quick and physical as well,” he said.

“It was good to smash around with some big bodies as well, so it was good.”

The long kicking left footer may have only had three touches, but he showed plenty of dash and grunt on debut. He also kicked a lovely goal on the run, which drew a big smile from the Western Australian.

“I had a bit of space in front of me, so I tried to take them on and use my leg speed,” Kent said.

“I just got the kick away in time and it just snagged through.

“I actually didn’t see where it went, but I started to celebrate, because I thought it was in the right area, but I didn’t actually know if it went through or not, but it was good.”

Kent said he was now looking to back up next week.

“Hopefully, I’ve done enough to impress the coaches, but I’ll have to wait and see – it’s a waiting game now. But if my opportunity’s there, I’m sure I’ll take it,” he said.