North Adelaide-bound Ewan Mackinlay has made the startling admission he was learning his midfield craft at senior level on the run this year.
The 20-year-old had a super debut season in the Ovens and Murray for Lavington, clearly finishing in the league's top 25 players.
He played midfield as a junior for Holbrook, but since debuting for the Brookers as a 16-year-old in 2019, had been a half-forward.
However, Lavington coach Adam Schneider wanted him near the ball.
"I really enjoyed it, I definitely improved out if it, the O and M is such a good comp, I was really trying to become a midfielder," he confirmed.
He finished runner-up in the club's best and fairest to half-forward Shaun Driscoll, who also had a breakout year.
Mackinlay's game is based on his blistering pace, which was the equal of any of his numerous high profile opponents, including Morris medallist Elliott Powell, while he's also a skilful kick on both sides of the body.
"I tried to build my midfield game around my pace and am continually working on my inside game, your outside work comes off the back of that," he explained.
Mackinlay improved so rapidly he's become both an inside and outside midfielder, capable of winning his own ball and also bursting away at stoppages.
"North Adelaide approached me and the way their coach Jacob Surjan (ex-Port Adelaide defender) spoke about the game style and what they wanted out of me, it sounded like a good option."
Mackinlay will move to Adelaide in early January.