Collingwood set to swoop on academy gun
HE GREW up wanting to be an NBA star, is one of six children in his family, fancies himself at video game Fortnite and has a mop of hair often likened to Western Bulldogs premiership star Jason Johannisen.
Meet Isaac Quaynor, a Collingwood Next Generation Academy member who the Magpies will have priority access to at next week's AFL national draft.
Quaynor, 18, whose father hails from the West African nation of Ghana, has been compared to Johannisen for his hairstyle, which he admits "does take a lot of maintenance", and also the way plays as a medium-sized rebounding defender who can break the lines and use the ball well.
"When people ask who do I model my game off, there's a bit of Johannisen," Quaynor said.
"I've started to watch him a fair bit lately because he's obviously been pretty influential on the game the last few years since his 2016 season.
"I really love the way he plays, he just runs and takes it on. I probably don't have that same speed that he has, that blistering speed, but I like to try and take people on when I can."
An Oakleigh Chargers product, Quaynor played 14 TAC Cup games this year, including a loss in the grand final, averaging 16.3 disposals, 3.8 marks and 3.2 tackles.
He also played in the AFL Under-18 National Championships for Vic Metro and trained with Collingwood during pre-season, when he was forced to change the photo on his phone background after he began rubbing shoulders with the man in it - Magpies captain Scott Pendlebury.
"I realised once I got there I probably should change it just so I don't look like a little fan boy," Quaynor said.
"He did bring it up when I spoke to him a while after and thought it was pretty funny."
A Collingwood fan growing up, and whose uncle works for the club as a psychologist, Quaynor, like Pendlebury, was a promising junior basketballer with Bulleen Boomers and had his sights on playing NBA until age 16.
But he soon realised his 182cm height would not cut it and he was a "bit better at football", with joining an AFL list next year now his sole focus.
"It would be pretty cool to (join Collingwood) but either way I just want to play footy, so I'm not too fussed," Quaynor said.
TOP ACADEMY PROSPECTS
Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood academy)
Medium-sized rebounding defender who can break the lines with his speed and uses the ball well. A good decision-maker who is also strong in the air.
Connor McFadyen (Brisbane Lions academy)
Medium forward who can also play through the midfield and has good game sense and clean hands. Also strong overhead and dangerous around goals.
Nick Blakey (Sydney Swans academy)
Athletic 195cm tall who can play a variety of positions. Growing pains have interrupted his final two years of underage football but Blakey still averaged 18 disposals and 4.5 goals in the AFL Academy Series for Sydney this year.
Kieren Briggs (GWS Giants academy)
Ruckman and tall forward who stands 200cm tall and imposes himself on the game with his physical presence in contests. Has strong hands and is good below his knees.
Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne academy)
Medium forward who can also run through the midfield or be sent down to defence. Strong overhead, has pace and a natural goal-sense.
Buku Khamis (Western Bulldogs academy)
Sudanese-born medium defender at 189cm who reads the play well and is strong with his intercept marking. Good decision-maker and user of the ball on his left foot.