NORTH Melbourne recruit Jaidyn Stephenson is being pushed to make the most of his talents as he prepares to spend his first season at the Roos with a mix of midfield and forward time.
Stephenson was pushed out of Collingwood during last year's Trade Period despite having two years to run on his contract with the Magpies.
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It came just two years after he won the NAB AFL Rising Star in an exciting 2018 season that saw him kick 38 goals and boot two majors in the Pies' Grand Final loss to West Coast.
But his two seasons since have fallen short of those levels, firstly after his betting ban in 2019 and then form struggles in 2020.
New Kangaroos coach David Noble said the 22-year-old had shown across the pre-season that he understood what was required.
"I just want him to be the best player he can be and understanding what being a pro looks like in regards to maximising your ability," Noble told AFL.com.au.
"We've seen lots of players who have great ability but never maximised what they may have. I don't think that's the case in Jaidyn's case. He's a young, energetic player who has a lot of football knowledge.
"We'll love him and we'll challenge him all at the same time. He's been really impressive. We've had him up in the midfield, down forward and a bit of a blend. He's come to work ready to play."
Stephenson expressed his surprise at being traded by the Magpies last year but Noble said the speedy goalkicker wasn't being driven by his swift exit.
"I haven't spoken to him so much directly about 'Have you got a point to prove?' I would imagine that he would just being a proud person. I think that would be how you may feel about it," he said.
"I don't get the sense that is why he's training hard at all. I just get the sense he's at a new club and wants to make a great impression, is keen to learn more about the game and wants to get better."
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Stephenson was one of four Roos recruits during the trade and free agency period, alongside ex-Giant Aidan Corr, Western Bulldogs backman Lachie Young and former Magpies teammate Atu Bosenavulagi.
Noble said the 26-year-old Corr was already making an impact on and off the ground.
"He can play a variety of roles. He adds a tough dimension into our back end and that's not underselling the guys who are already there. He's spoken up a lot in our meetings which has been great," he said.