NORTH MELBOURNE FC
Born: 18 May 1988
Junior Club: Easts, University, Glenmore Bulls (Rockhampton)
Senior Club: Morningside
Schools: St.Anthony's Primary School (Toowoomba), The Cathedral College (Rockhampton), Cavendish Road SHS
Regional Selection: Country Kookaburras / South-East Bushrangers
Queensland Selection: U16 (2004), U18 (2005-6)
Draft Details: Selection #21 (2nd round) 2006 National Draft
AFL Debut: North Melbourne v Brisbane Lions, Gabba, Rd 10, 2008 (31 May)
Jumper Number: 14
AT A GLANCE: A silky-skilled midfielder/half back flanker who continues to fly the Queensland Country flag in the AFL with North Melbourne. Son of long-time AFLQ Development Manager and former Essendon U19s player Jim Urquhart, he was born in Mackay, grew up in Rockhampton and spent time in Toowoomba before launching his AFL career from QAFL State League club Morningside.
Having started playing football as a seven-year-old in Mackay, he went wherever his father’s job took him before the family moved to Brisbane in 2004 partly so that Gavin could further his football career. He represented Queensland at U16 level in 2004 and U18 level in 2005-06, and was a member of the 2006 AIS/AFL Academy squad alongside fellow Queenslanders David Armitage, Brent Renouf, Ricky Petterd and Albert Proud. He made his QAFL senior debut at Morningside in ’05 but battled osteitis pubis for much of his 2006 campaign, when a star-studded Queensland U18 side won an undefeated Division Two title at the Australian U18 Championships under Craig McRae. Sporting a long ponytail at the time, he was also a member of the Morningside team which played in the QAFL preliminary final.
Popular with talent scouts because of his exceptional kicking skills, he was the third Queenslander taken in the 2006 National Draft at No.21 behind close friend Armitage (9) and Shaun Hampson (17), and ahead of Proud (22), Renouf (24), Brad Howard (27), Petterd (30), Kurt Tippett (32), Ben Warren (69), Paul O’Shea (76) and Jesse White (79), with Chris Smith, Scott Clouston, Gavin Grose, Jarrod Harbrow, Daniel Dzufer, Haydn Kiel and Joel Tippett following in the rookie draft. He spent his first year at North playing with feeder club North Ballarat in the VFL seconds, with a handful of senior games late in the season. He played the first nine games of 2008 in the North Ballarat seniors before an eye-catching AFL debut against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba in Round 10 of 2008, picking up 21 possessions. He didn’t miss another game all season, finishing with 14 games in a row, plus the AFL Rising Star nomination for Round 18 following another clash with the Lions, this time at Carrara when he had 22 possessions.
Impressive with his pin-point kicking ability, his elusiveness in heavy traffic, and his cool decision-making ability, he also played in North Ballarat’s VFL premiership side, kicking the goal of the day just before three-quarter time to break the game open for his side against Port Melbourne. It was no surprise when he was named the Kangaroos’ Best First-Year Player. He played 18 AFL games in 2009, losing his spot for Rounds 21-22 as fatigue set in, but had done more than enough to confirm his long-term future with the club and was rewarded with a new three-year contract which locked him into Arden Street until the end of 2012 and fended off any would-be approaches from the Gold Coast. Shaping as a long-term midfielder, he topped 20 possessions in a game six times in his first two years but, oddly enough, was still to kick his first AFL goal.