MAJAK Daw is well equipped to handle heightened expectations following his cameo debut, Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton says.

Brereton also believes there is no reason why the AFL's first Sudanese player can’t immediately reproduce the dazzling form he displayed during his only quarter at the highest level.

Daw's much-anticipated, albeit brief, appearance for North Melbourne against the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night left the football world spellbound.

Starting deep in attack, the 22-year-old marked strongly and goaled in the opening minute, before claiming a second contested mark and creating further scoring opportunities via a handball, a smart knock-on and a Nic Naitanui-style palm-down.

But at the 19-minute mark the dream was over when Daw was knocked out and subbed out, after an accidental clash of heads with teammate Ben Cunnington.

Brereton knows what it's like to face such steep expectations, having bagged five goals on debut as an 18-year-old in the 1982 first semi-final against North Melbourne.

Brereton recalled that the well-intended attempts of his late coach Allan Jeans to protect him from added pressures only made him more anxious. He says the Kangaroos won’t make the same mistake with Daw, and that they will keep his preparation as routine as possible.

"These days they also do psych evaluations on their players, so they'll have the best handle on how to get him up emotionally for game two," he told

"But you’re not talking about a teenage Jack Watts being thrown to the wolves at centrehalf-forward against Collingwood in a Queen's Birthday game; you’re talking about a bloke who's in his early twenties, who hits the scales at around 100 kilos and is as physically adept at taking on the opposition as anyone who's ever played the game. He can handle himself.

"So in general terms he's a young, mature man who now has some confidence that he can compete at AFL level.

"He's been around long enough now and he speaks quite well. (Before his debut) I heard him say he's proud of the way he's handled the pressure so far, so I think he'll cope with it.

"Before they even play a game, players are made acutely aware of all their physical dimensions and capabilities, and spend hundreds of hours matching it at training with peers who are of AFL standard, so I don’t think there is any barrier to him continuing on from where he left off."

Brereton had some simple advice for Daw.

"Go out there and have fun, and play like you’re only ever going to play two games, like it's the most important game of your life, which it is."

Majak Daw is a ruckman in NAB AFL Fantasy. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Ben Collins is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @AFL_bencollins.