North Melbourne director of coaching Darren Crocker says that injury-troubled youngster Paul Ahern is well on the path to finally making his AFL debut in 2018.
The 21-year-old number 7 pick in the 2014 AFL National Draft suffered two knee reconstructions during his time with first club the GWS Giants, with the latter forcing him to miss the entirety of his first season at the Kangaroos as well.
However the midfielder has currently managed to navigate North’s 2018 pre-season campaign without any issues, with Crocker saying the youngster is tracking “really well”.
“He’s shown everyone why we picked him up,” Crocker, who also serves at the club’s midfield coach, told SEN Drive.
“He’s smart, he’s a nice mover, he keeps his feet really well and rarely goes to ground. He’s strong through the hips and he uses the ball well.
“We’re really excited with what he has got to offer.
“We’ve obviously been very patient with him after having those two knee reconstructions with GWS. We knew he was a highly talented player. Our guys liked him in the draft when he was coming through, so they knew what he had to offer.
“We’ve just had to be patient and we’ve done that and he’s now been able to complete the entire pre-season to this point.”
Ahern was traded to the Roos for pick 69 in the 2016 AFL Trade Period, with the Giants on-trading the pick to Melbourne.
The Dees selected Dion Johnstone with the pick, who is also yet to play a senior AFL game.
Listen to Darren Crocker chatting with the boys on SEN Drive in the player below: