HERITIER Lumumba says his first match for Melbourne – and his 200th AFL game – will rank as one of his favourite football memories.

The 2010 Collingwood premiership player said it was a moment he will cherish fondly for the rest of his fine career.

“It’s hard to rank – I’ll have to wait until the end of my career to reflect and rank this – but it’s certainly up there as one of the happiest moments I’ve ever experienced in AFL football,” he told Dee TV, after Melbourne’s 26-point win over the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG.

Lumumba said he “couldn’t have asked for a better start” at Melbourne, after joining the club from Collingwood last October.

“It was fantastic. It’s been a long pre-season, but we’ve worked really hard and we’ve evolved so much in such a short amount of time. It’s great to see the hard work pay off,” he said.

“I think it’s just really satisfying to have put in so much hard work, [after] a long pre-season. We trained really hard and went up to Maroochydore and did the hard yards there in the heat.

“We came through with the goods today, so it’s really satisfying. The guys are really excited and we truly believe that we can continue to push forward and sustain this effort.”

Lumumba, who kicked a crucial goal in the final term to steady the ship for Melbourne, said it was a particular moment he relished in his milestone match.

“I was just really excited. I saw [Gold Coast’s Nick] Malceski switch it and I got a sniff,” he said.

“To kick a goal on my 200th is fantastic, but the most important thing is to be able to come away with a win.

“Everyone was able to play their part today and that’s the pleasing thing – we had seven new players who all played fantastic games and we’ve got some really good signs for the future.”