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Getting back in the Black

"I wouldn’t have been playing if they didn’t have the confidence that I was up to scratch."

Open training – Thursday at Arden Street, 11.30am-12.30pm approx. Autographs, sausage sizzle and merchandise available.

Aaron Black is the first to admit he hasn’t had a great year personally. But with the support of his coach, the key-forward is starting to come back into his own.

Expectations were high after a breakout season in 2013. The West-Australian kicked 33 goals, including bags of five and four to become a vital cog in North’s front six.

Things have been a little tougher this season though.

“I am slowly getting there, (but) it has been a difficult year,” Black told The Herald Sun’s Glenn McFarlane.  

“I am playing a bit of a different role, playing a bit higher up the ground this year.”

The 23-year-old has been met with more attention from the opposition, aware of his ability to turn a game.

“Last year, when I first came in, and people didn’t really know how I played, I was able to get off the hook a bit.

“This year I am getting manned up a bit. I’m learning from that and take confidence from those experiences.”

Adding to that extra pressure, niggling injuries have affected Black all season.

“I’ve been managing (a few issues), but the physios are really good.

“I wouldn’t have been playing if they didn’t have the confidence that I was up to scratch, but ‘Scotty’ has been really good.

“There has been one little injury that has been going on all year. We will go in at the end of the year and fix that up.”

While many called for Black to be dropped mid-season, his coach maintained the faith, albeit with some direct feedback.

“I catch up with him weekly and I know that a lot of times for me it is about just playing my role for the team.

“There were two games when he (Scott) gave me a kick up the bum,” he added.

Black is desperate to finish the season on a good note to give himself the best opportunity to attack the pre-season.  

“The biggest thing for me at the end of the year will be trying to put a bit more weight on and get a bit of size.”