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Spring-heeled Roos forward hops on new deal

Taylor Garner has signed a two-year extension with the Roos - AFL,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Taylor Garner
Taylor Garner has signed a two-year extension with the Roos

SPRING-HEELED Kangaroos forward Taylor Garner has re-signed for two more years and taken aim at playing every game this season for the first time. 

Garner, 24, was due to come out of contract at the end of the year, but is now tied to Arden Street until the end of the 2020 season. 

He played a career-high 18 games last year – after 16 in the previous four seasons – and showcased his vast potential, including the aerial ability he is becoming known for across the competition.

Persistent hamstring injuries cruelled Garner's early years at the club after he was the No.15 draft pick in 2012, but he has also dealt with hip, knee, quad and shoulder injuries.

"Obviously, I strung a few games together over the year, so they've shown a lot of faith in me," Garner told nmfc.com.au.

"I haven't played that many games over the years, so it's good I've got that contract and hopefully I can string a few games (together) in the future.

"I love North; I love the path we're going. I think we have a young, exciting group and hopefully there's a lot of success in the future." 

North Melbourne's fitness staff have taken a cautious approach to Garner's pre-season and he remains on a modified program based on his checkered injury history. 

He regularly trained inside as his teammates completed running trials and gruelling training sessions, and he also skipped match simulation and AFLX trials early in the pre-season.

"My body always has its issues, which are ongoing, but I've worked a lot with the medical staff," Garner said.

"Hopefully, (I can play) 22 games, maybe even 25 this year. I've had a bit of a different program … so I think I'll be playing more forward.

"I wouldn't mind going into the midfield, but I probably don't have the tickets just yet, so hopefully that's coming throughout the year but just up forward for now." 

Garner, who stands 187cm, had 20 or more disposals four times last year and kicked multiple goals on four occasions.

This season will also see Garner switch from No.27 to No.6 – the guernsey vacated by Lachlan Hansen and also made famous by past greats including Arnold Briedis, John Dugdale and Shannon Grant.