Young Roo Durdin ruled out for AFL season

North Melbourne’s bad luck with their 2014 draft class has continued with Sam Durdin suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

Durdin, the 16th overall pick at last year’s national draft, injured his shoulder playing for VFL affiliate North Ballarat at the weekend and requires an operation to repair torn cartilage.

He joins 25th overall selection Daniel Nielson and Ed Vickers-Willis, taken at pick 36, in being ruled out for the rest of the club’s 2015 campaign.

“Sam had been playing well in the VFL in the first half of the season and had put in some impressive performances against some AFL-listed players, playing either in defence or attack,” North director of football Geoff Walsh told the club’s website on Tuesday.

“While Sam’s 2015 may be over, we’re really confident he’ll be able to make an impact in 2016.

“With a full pre-season under his belt we expect him to really push for senior selection.”

Nielson required a knee reconstruction after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in March, while Vickers-Willis dislocated a shoulder playing for Werribee in May and underwent a shoulder reconstruction.

None of the trio was able to break through for an AFL debut before their first season at the elite level came to a premature end.

“Obviously these injuries are never great,” Walsh said.

“But one blessing may be the timing of the incidents meaning the boys will be able to have their bodies structurally sound for pre-season training giving them the best chance to have an impact next year.”

Durdin, a 198cm key-position prospect, has already signed a one-year contract extension that ties him to the club until the end of the 2017 season.

North elevated rookies Joel Tippett and Kayne Turner with their final two picks at last year’s draft.

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