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Gutsy Magpie Maynard makes his mark

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Brayden Maynard of the Magpies and Cory Gregson of the Cats compete for the ball during the 2015 AFL round 22 match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on August 28, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Brayden Maynard marks going back with the flight against Cat Cory Gregson
It's what you've got to do to get that respect from your teammates
Brayden Maynard

THEY are the kinds of acts that can instantly endear you to your teammates, coaches, fans and an entire football club.

Not that he knew it at the time, but Collingwood youngster Brayden Maynard's effort to run back into the unknown and pull down a gutsy mark against Geelong last Friday night could be the making of him as a footballer.

"I had Jamie Elliott by my side telling me that I had to go," Maynard told of his recollections of the moment.

"I saw the ball in the air and I just decided to go, didn't take my eyes off it and lucky enough it landed on my chest."

WATCH: Brayden Maynard's gutsy grab against Collingwood

At the three-quarter time huddle, Taylor Adams came over and told Maynard he should be proud of his efforts while a few other Magpies teammates praised him for the courage he showed.

The courageous mark in front of young Cat Cory Gregson in the third quarter of the Magpies' 48-point win also appeared in a highlights package shown in the team meeting during the week.

"I was happy with the mark and it's what you've got to do to get that respect from your teammates," Maynard said.

The game against the Cats last Friday night was perhaps the best of Maynard's fledgling career, with the 18-year-old collecting 16 disposals and a goal to add to that contested mark. 

Set to play his ninth AFL game against Essendon at the MCG on Sunday, Maynard – who was selected by the Pies with pick No.30 in last year's draft – said his improved fitness had allowed him to impact games more in the latter half of the season.

It will be something that he looks to build on in the upcoming pre-season, revealing he has the right attitude in approaching hard work.

"If you're not willing to show a great amount of effort and not work as hard as you can, then you won't make it," Maynard said.

Maynard, along with Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore have made a strong impression in their debut years for the Magpies.

Since making his debut in round 14, Maynard – who is renowned for his precise and powerful left boot – has added exuberance to Collingwood's back six.

He is one of 36 players Magpies coach Nathan Buckley has used this season as the club positions itself to return to finals for the first time since 2013.

And despite there being nothing on the line in terms of finals, Maynard sees the match against Collingwood's old rivals as a chance to prove himself all over again.

"I'm very excited for what the future holds because we have some very good young guys coming through," Maynard said.

"It's a great opportunity to leave the 2015 AFL season with a win so I can't wait to get out there with the boys."