Young defender Kyron Hayden has signed a one-year deal with North Melbourne.

The 21-year-old is one of a number of young Roos to have committed their future to the club in recent months, following Curtis Taylor, Tristan Xerri and Bailey Scott. They join the likes of Tarryn Thomas, Jy Simpkin, Nick Larkey, Cam Zurhaar and Luke Davies-Uniacke who form the nucleus of an exciting future at Arden St.

“We’ve got a young group and a lot of talented young guys. It’s exciting for us to grow and develop together, and as we build, hopefully we can put something special together,” Hayden told North Media.

Hayden showed plenty of promise in his eight games in 2020, cementing a spot in the backline after being recalled in Round 2, his first game back after an achilles rupture.

The 21-year-old was asked to perform lockdown roles on the likes of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Eddie Betts, keeping the latter goalless and to just 5 touches in Round 8.

“I was pretty proud of my year, coming off a tough injury (achilles rupture),” Hayden said.

“I played every game that I was available, which gave me a lot of confidence knowing that I can play at the level. I want to play every game and I want that to be the norm.”

Hayden impressed the AFL world with his courage in Round 7 when he ran back with the flight of the ball and collided with Tiger, Tom Lynch.

The incident didn’t keep him down, as he returned to face Carlton the following week.

A knee injury suffered in Round 9 proved to be season-ending for the number 37, but he has a strong platform to build off.

“It was a tough year for the industry as a whole, and a lot of good players and a lot of good people won’t be a part of the game going forward, so I feel really fortunate and thankful to be around for another 12 months.”

“I’m excited to put in some hard work and contribute to team success.”