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As Luke Nankervis works the wings and the flanks, leading up at the ball-carrier and creating an option for his midfielders, it’s not just opposing defenders that are trailing him.

At the end of his long brown hair, bouncing along as he runs, you’ll find a braid that hangs between his shoulder blades when standing still.

He’s copped some grief for it on the field, and it certainly catches the attention of onlookers when he flies by. But it’s not an attention seeking mechanism, rather a tribute to his Star Wars fandom.

“If you’re training to be a jedi, they’ve all got braids,” Nankervis said. “I don’t know why, but they’ve all got braids like mine.”

“It’s been two years since I started growing it.

“I love myself a bit of Star Wars, so it probably started from that and it just kept growing and growing.

“Not many people like it, calling it a bit ‘ratty’ and filthy but that’s what I love about it.”

Standing 189cm and possessing elite agility (preseason NAB League testing saw him ranked ninth in the talent pool), the half-forward is a matchup headache for opposition coaches.

He is both strong overhead and damaging at ground level, with and without the ball, working in tandem with Blake Howes and Lachie Benton to service the forwards.

His footballing talents, including a signature side-step, were established in the backyard dodging his older brothers and honed at the Bentleigh Junior Football Club, culminating in a premiership in the under 16s in 2019.