Kayne Turner has overcome many hurdles since joining North Melbourne but 2016 poses his biggest challenge yet.
With the likes of Brent Harvey, Lindsay Thomas, Jed Anderson, Robin Nahas and Taylor Garner in line for a small-forward spot, the competition for spots has never been as fierce.
“It definitely encourages you more. It just makes training a little bit more intense when you know there’s four or five other blokes playing for the same spot as you,” Turner told NMFC.com.au.
“We picked up Jed (Anderson) who’s going to be a really good pick-up for us; he’s been training the house down.
“All the small forwards are really fit and well. It just makes things interesting for the coaches I guess.”
Whether he’s in the round one side or not, Turner is loving life as a Kangaroo.
“I love the club. Everyone here makes it a great club. It’s a great environment to be around,” he said.
“I’ve got a lot of great friends here now and it’s just enjoyable. There’s no better job in the world.”
With his VCE finally completed, the 20-year-old can now focus solely on his football and spend more time in the gym.
“I’ve been able to put on a little bit of weight during the off-season and been able to hold that weight during the pre-season which is nice,” he said.
“I hope to be playing a few kilos heavier by the time the season comes around, which should benefit me.”
Not that his light frame has ever held him back. Despite being stretchered off after a huge knock in Round 23 against Richmond, Turner vowed to play with the same ferocity this season.
“I don’t think I need to change. That was just a freak accident that happens from time to time. That’s the risk you take,” Turner said.
“I won’t be changing my game in any way. I don’t really feel the need to.”