YOU COULDN'T miss Isaac Quaynor's eye-catching return to Collingwood's senior side a fortnight ago.

From his booming right-foot kicking, powerful frame, quick feet and repeated counter-attacks, the dazzling 20-year-old played a match to remember.

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There's significant interest in Quaynor's progress, given the club he plays for and the fact he was the No.13 pick in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft as a Next Generation Academy selection.

It's a draft class already stuffed with budding stars, with every member of the top 10 – from Sam Walsh to Jack Lukosius to Bailey Smith and Nick Blakey – playing regular senior football.

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Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, chosen directly before and five picks after Quaynor, respectively, are also integral members of ladder-leading Port Adelaide.

In Quaynor's case, he appeared four times late last year but had to bide his time as the Magpies negotiated the opening five rounds of this season without him.

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"I'm not sure what everyone else's philosophy on selection is but it can be beneficial when you have to continually perform at a high standard to get in," Collingwood assistant Matthew Boyd told AFL.com.au.

"It might not be the news kids want to hear early in their career, because they see people who've been drafted in their year getting lots more games and feel like they're progressing more.

"But, in the long term, it's a positive to have the opportunity to develop, to learn and to figure out the things that are going to take you forward as a player." 

HOW ISAAC QUAYNOR'S TWO GAMES BACK RATE

STATISTICS

AVERAGES

RATING

Contested possessions

5.5

Above average

Intercept possessions

6.5

Elite

Intercept marks

2.5

Elite

Inside 50s

3

Elite

Tackles

3

Elite

Disposal efficiency

88.5%

Elite

Any frustration Quaynor felt was transformed into an insatiable appetite to improve rather than any petulance.

He carries a notepad to every team or one-on-one meeting and furiously writes notes to pore over later. His attention to detail and work ethic are well known inside the Holden Centre.

The multi-month, COVID-19-enforced competition shutdown became an opportunity for Quaynor to make his move.

He spoke regularly with Boyd and development coach Hayden Skipworth during that time and organised numerous "vision sessions" over Zoom to heighten his knowledge of the game plan.

Boyd, a 292-game Western Bulldogs great who played in the club's 2016 flag, even did some physical hitouts with Quaynor to make sure he was ready from that standpoint, too.

"He wasn't the only one of our boys who got better over that period but it was noticeable he was one who progressed his career and his skill and fitness levels," Boyd said.

As for what Quaynor had to work on, Boyd said striking a better and more consistent balance between his offensive and defensive sides was a priority.

That doesn't mean the Magpies are discouraging the young gun from taking the game on. In fact, they love that about Quaynor.

"You see the offensive side of his game, which is probably what stands out," Boyd said.

"But we really like his defensive attributes and what he can do on the deeper line of defence and also up a little bit higher as well, with his run and carry, so he's really versatile for us.

"He's a really good one-on-one player, he's got great speed and he's got really good aerial (prowess) for a guy who's not too big.

"They're the little things he's been working really hard on to try and get to a consistently high level."