HE weighs not much more than 70 kilograms and spends his weekdays in the classroom.
But North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said few were tougher at Arden Street than former Kiewa-Sandy Creek and Wodonga footballer Kayne Turner.
Today Turner will make his AFL debut against Greater Western Sydney in Canberra.
Scott said Turner had been inspiring since the club drafted him last year.
“Our guys in the VFL feel they walk taller when Kayne Turner
is in the team because he’s so aggressive,” Scott said yesterday.
We wrote him a note to get out of school. If there's a reason to miss school I think this is a pretty good one, but he's earned his spot.
“His attack on the footy — and I mean it when I say this — is second to none.
“This selection sets an example to the rest of our players.
“We wrote him a note to get out of school.
“If there’s a reason to miss school, I think this is a pretty good one, but he’s earned his spot.”
Turner, who turns 19 on December 31, will be the first schoolboy in five years to make his AFL debut.
He is two days younger than the AFL’s next youngest players, Port Adelaide’s Sam Russell and Sydney Swan George Hewett.
He studies for his VCE at Mari-byrnong Secondary College and trains on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and all day Thursday.
Turner has played mostly in attack for Werribee but has moved to the wing in recent rounds.
He earned his call-up with a 22-possession game against Port Melbourne last Sunday.
“You fear for him a little bit because of his light frame but his attack is unbelievable and he’s a smart footballer as well,” Scott said.
“It sets a bit of an example to the rest of our list that we’re after genuine competitors.”
A horde of Turner’s family and friends will be in Canberra for his debut, among them his brother, Callum, who plays for Kiewa-Sandy Creek.