Rejuvenated Keppel ready for 2018

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Kane Keppel has his eyes set on 2018: his second season at the Northern Blues. (PHOTO CREDIT: Northern Blues Football Club)

Entering his second season at the club, Kane Keppel is already looking forward to when game-time rolls around in 2018.

Returning to the club as the Best First-Year Player from 2017, Keppel has his eyes set on Round 1 in what he’s hoping is an exciting summer.

Keppel has the road to recovery on the immediate agenda, and is optimistic of a return to full training.

The key position tall suffered a fractured fibula in his last game of the year, bringing an unfortunate end to a promising campaign.

“I’m in with the physios and done with the surgeon now, who’s done a great job: I had 12 weeks off but back into work now and getting through recovery,” Keppel said.

“Hopefully it’s not long now before I’m back out on the track and kicking the footy.”

Saying he’d come on in “leaps and bounds” since arriving at the Northern Blues, Keppel is one of a number of youngsters who has the potential to drive the club forward.

He said the lessons learned from his first season would hold him in good stead as he looks to mount his case in 2018.

“Coming into a VFL atmosphere has taught me to play against bigger bodies and the skills needed to go to that next level,” Keppel said.

“The injury was a bit of a downer but the last 12 months have been great for me and I’m looking forward for what’s to come.”

Looking to build on the seven senior Northern games he played in the season just gone, Keppel had a straightforward goal for year two at the club.

“Simply, to play as many senior games as I can, and to go out there and really contribute,” Keppel said.

“I want to be in there from Round 1 if it suits the coaches and my fitness is good. Everyone should have a goal to play every game.”

Keppel said he was open to playing a role at either end having played in a key attacking and defensive post: but not without having a laugh about which is more enjoyable.

“I loved playing forward, I haven’t since I played juniors,” Keppel said.

“It taught me how to play as a defender even better, playing against experienced backs and also teaching you what your opponents don’t like.”

“I don’t have a preference, it’s wherever the coaches need me… but kicking goals is always fun!”