An opposition coach has declared North Albury’s latest recruit has the potential to be a league superstar.
Northern Football League representative Ned McKeown trained with the Hoppers on Wednesday night.
The son of former Collingwood and Corowa-Rutherglen player Ron, the 23-year-old played six VFL games with the Pies and has been a regular in the NFL Team of the Year.
Wodonga Raiders’ mentor Jarrod Hodgkin played in Heidelberg’s premiership win over McKeown’s Macleod in 2016.
“He’s quality, he’s got the ability to be an A-grader, dead-set A-grader,” Hodgkin said.
“He’s probably at the stage where, if he takes the next step, he could be one of the better players in the league.”
McKeown has had a brutal run in grand finals, losing the last three by 16 points or less.
If he takes the next step, he could be one of the better players in the league.Jarrod Hodgkin
He’s only 182cms, but at a powerful 92kgs, McKeown has played largely centre half-back in recent times.
“I guess I’m not super fit, but I back myself with speed, to be quicker than most blokes on the field, so closing speed’s pretty crucial,” he said.
McKeown had spent time at Bundoora previously with mutual friends the link with North coach Isaac Muller.
“His leadership qualities and the way he goes about his footy is probably where our greatest interest was in him,” Muller said.
“His ability to chop off (the play) across half-back and he’s not really worried where he plays, he just wants what’s best for the team and that’s attractive as a coach.”
McKeown will be an assistant coach after filling the same role at Macleod’s under 19s.
“He’s a huge kick, probably one of the biggest kicks I’ve seen,” Muller enthused.
“He did a lot of kicking out from fullback and to get 60, 70 metres from goal, it’s a huge boot.”
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