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Melbourne Football Club

Rookie White to debut

ROOKIE Mitch White has been elevated to Melbourne’s senior list and will make his AFL debut this Sunday against GWS Giants.

The young defender is set to become Melbourne’s eighth AFL debutant of 2015 and earned his first senior match after racking up 16 disposals, four tackles and three contested marks in Casey’s loss to Sandringham last week.

Manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said White had earned his spot off the back of consistent performances at VFL level.

“Mitch has been developing very well at Casey, playing across half-back,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“His consistent performances over the past two months have earned him his opportunity to make his AFL debut.

“As we saw last week with the debut of Oscar McDonald, players that have performed consistently at VFL level tend to transfer their form into their AFL performances.”

Originally drafted from TAC Cup side Dandenong Stingrays with Melbourne’s second selection in the 2014 rookie draft (pick no.20 overall), White is a defender known for his running and long kicking off half back.

He started the season in the AFL Victoria Development League before playing the next 15 games for Casey in the VFL.

Of Melbourne’s seven first year players, only Christian Petracca, who is currently recovering from a knee reconstruction, is yet to make his debut.

Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Aaron vandenBerg, Billy Stretch, Alex Neal-Bullen, James Harmes and Oscar McDonald all played their first AFL games this year.

“Mitch will be our eighth debutant for the year,” Mahoney said.

“With all our first year players except Christian Petracca playing AFL football in their debut season, it is a testament to the changes we have made in our recruiting department and the work done by Jason Taylor and his team.”

“Hopefully playing this game will give Mitch a taste of what is required at AFL level and inspire him to attack pre-season with a hunger for more games, along with his other exciting young teammates.”