Border AFL export Kayne Turner loves every chance he can get to come back home.
Turner has been spending his week off from football duties back in the region catching up with hundreds of local fans.
The North Melbourne young gun has strung his most consistent season of football together this year after being plagued by a hamstring issues.
Turner has played every game in 2017, benefiting from the hard work he has put into his slender frame.
He weighed just 64 kilograms when he was drafted to the club in 2013, but has built that up to 75 kilograms this season.
“It’s been a pretty steady process at the moment, when I initially got there it was a quick build, but after that it has been bit by bit,” Turner said.
“It takes a fair bit of time to be able gain weight, I don’t gain it as easy as some people might, so it hasn’t been an easy process.
“I can take the big knocks a bit easier now.
“It’s just nice to get a bit of trust back in the body after last year.”
Turner admitted fellow Wodonga product Jack Ziebell has been “unbelievable” since taking over the captaincy this season.
“He’s always been a great leader and it was a role probably made for him once Andrew (Swallow) stepped down,” he said.
“He’s been outstanding on the field and even better off for us.”
North Melbourne has been the centre of attention in recent weeks in regards to out of contract stars Dustin Martin (Richmond) and Josh Kelly (GWS) possibly in talks of signing with the club.
But it’s not something Turner has given much thought to.
“It’s definitely not my job to worry about that, I’ll leave that to the head office guys,” he said,
“If they do, it will be great, but it hasn’t crossed my mind too much.”
Turner plans to head out to his old stomping ground at Kiewa to watch his former club train and hopes to see the Hawks or Wodonga play over the weekend.
North Melbourne rookie Oscar Junker joined Turner at Lavington Square on Wednesday to sign autographs for hundreds of Kangaroos fans.
The 19-year-old hopes to play the role of a third tall forward, but hasn’t had the chance to prove himself at the club after fracturing his tibia in his right leg in the first intra-club match of the year.
“I had to have surgery on it and it has taken about three-and-a-half months now, but I’m going to be about a month away now, so I’ve been starting to do some running,” Junker said.
“(Getting a new contract) is always at the back of your mind, but all you can do is focus on what you can do at the moment and hope that comes with it.”