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Kayne's amazing turnaround

Rob Burton  May 17, 2017 12:48 PM

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Kayne Turner interview.

What a difference 12 months can make.

In 2016, Kayne Turner simply couldn’t string games together, with persistent hamstring injuries restricting him to just four VFL and two AFL games.

So far this season, he’s managed eight straight senior games.

“I think I played three or four games in a row last year as my max, so obviously to have already doubled that is a confidence booster and gives me heaps more faith in the body that it can hold up to the AFL standards,” Turner told NMFC.com.au.

“It’s just the hard work in the off-season and in the gym paying off now; I spent a lot of time last year trying to get the hamstrings right, which didn’t all go to plan. This year, touch wood, I can stay and keep getting these consecutive games.

“It’s a bit more confidence for me and a bit more confidence in the body each week.”

Turner’s fearless attack on the footy is the cornerstone of his game, a career-high 10 tackles against Sydney illustrative of his importance in North’s forward-line.

“It’s (tackling) always been a strong suit of my game and something that I can base my game around,” he said.

“If I’m not getting as much offensively it’s something I can do to help the team out.”

North’s number 28 also enjoying increased game-time, on the field for 88 per cent of the game on Sunday.

“It just goes back to the pre-season again, building that fitness base that I might not have had in previous years and being able to stay out on the ground and still have an impact.

“It’s been good.”

It’s hard to believe Turner is only 21; North fans no doubt with fond memories of him bursting onto the scene with some strong performances back in the 2014 finals’ campaign.

Such is the Roos’ rare fixturing at the MCG, the clash against the Demons will be just the second time Turner has played there since he kicked a goal and laid 9 tackles in a famous September win over Geelong.

“I can’t wait, it’s going to be really exciting,” he said of the chance to play at the ‘home of football’ again.

“We don’t get many chances to play on the ‘G each year, so it’s a big opportunity and hopefully we can step up.”