AFL goes berserk for teenage ‘machine’

Melbourne Demons young gun Kysaiah Pickett has caught the attention of footy pundits with a dazzling performance against the GWS Giants on Sunday evening.

After the Giants raced ahead in the opening term at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, the Dees narrowed the margin to just two points at halftime.

But a moment of brilliance from Pickett early in the third quarter put the visitors two goals ahead for the first time.

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The 19-year-old managed to intercept a sloppy kick in the forward 50, desperately scrambling on the turf to retrieve the loose footy.

Pickett then returned to his feet, evading the Giants defenders and snapping a goal from a 45-degree angle.

You HAVE to be a lot more careful when Kozzie is around 😤

Ok Pickett is 👑 @FOXFOOTY#AFLGiantsDees

Pickett!! Just super exciting and getting better by the game. Going to be a player we talk about for the next 10 years! #AFLGiantsDees

Kozzy Pickett. How bloody good is he to watch. #AFLGiantsDees

“He was buzzing around like a mozzie, and he delivered,” Fox Footy commentator Kelli Underwood cried.

Five-time premiership player Dermott Brereton said: “There’s a little bit of some genuine former champions about him, isn’t there? There’s a little bit of Michel Long in how he dashes down the field.”

Melbourne captain Max Gawn said after the match: “He kicked a left snap and a right snap, and all of them were like his fifth option, he was ducking and weaving … we’ve got to keep developing him but the AFL’s got someone special to watch for the next few years.”

Pickett made his AFL debut last season, scoring seven goals in 14 matches for the Demons in 2020.

ABC Grandstand’s Matt Clinch tweeted: “Kosi Pickett is my new favourite player.”

The Herald Sun’s Marc McGowan posted: “Kozzy Pickett making Melbourne recruiting manager Jason Taylor look like a genius.”

ABC reporter Daniel Miles tweeted: “Kosi Pickett is a machine that produces excitement. A seriously talented, natural footballer.”

Kysaiah Pickett of the Demons.Source:Getty Images

Melbourne held an 18-point lead at three-quarter time, but two quick goals from Giants stalwart Toby Greene closed the margin to set up a potential comeback.

But Pickett snared another two classy majors in the fourth quarter to ensure victory for the Demons.

He finished the round three clash with four goals, 13 disposals, two tackles and a behind.

The undefeated Melbourne ultimately claimed a 15.12 (102) to 11.2 (68) win, going 3-0 for the first time in 16 years.

Meanwhile, GWS are still searching for their maiden win of the 2021 premiership, going 0-3 for the first time since 2013.

The Giants suffered a quartet of injury blows in the match, with Phil Davis (calf), Stephen Coniglio (ankle), Brent Daniels (ankle) and Matt De Boer (hamstring) each taken off the field.

Melbourne will next face the Geelong Cats at the MCG, while the Giants will take on the Collingwood Magpies next weekend.

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