A rookie draft selection in 2014, Kayne Turner looked to have carved out a niche for himself at AFL level prior to this season, playing 79 games as an effective pressure forward before a foot injury curtailed his 2020.
But in 2021, that’s all changed.
Elected to North Melbourne’s leadership group at the start of this season, the introduction of David Noble has also led to the introduction of a new role for the number-28.
A tagging role in midfield was the making of Luke McDonald last season and looks to be having the same effect on Turner, as he produced one of the finest games of his career against Melbourne in Sunday.
Turner finished the clash with career-highs in disposals (27), effective disposals (20) and clearances (6), while also registering 6 tackles and 5 marks, as he restricted the influence of the likes of Angus Brayshaw, Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver over the course of the game.
The 25-year-old says the move into the midfield has given him a new lease on life, with more experienced midfielders giving him the helping hand he needed to learn the position.
“I’m really enjoying it, obviously I’ve been working with Jy, ‘Cunners’ (Ben Cunnington) and those guys who have been really helpful for me,” Turner told North Media.
“[Midfield coach] Jordan Russell has been outstanding for me and has taken a lot of time to make sure I understand everything.
“I’m very grateful for the trust they put in me in there … [to] get those jobs done."