It was one of the most gruesome injuries to occur on the football field and yet Isaac Quaynor remained calm and composed despite the 20cm laceration on his shin.
Unfortunately, the stud of Sydney’s Tom Wicks’ boots had left Quaynor worse for wear during their Round 10 clash against the Swans.
Despite the injury and prospect of facing a significant period on the sidelines as a result of the condensed 2020 fixture, Collingwood backline coach Matthew Boyd said Quaynor handled the injury and recovery in a way the club had come to expect.
“Isaac is cool, calm and collected and he was really measured throughout that whole process and diligent in what he had to do to return to the senior side this season,” Boyd told aflplayers.com.au following Quaynor’s Round 17 Rising Star nomination.
Known for bringing a notepad to team meetings, Quaynor continued this process while completing his rehabilitation and worked to keep himself engaged as much as possible during his time on the sidelines.
Quaynor worked closely with fellow defenders Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard, watching vision and taking notes on how the two played.
It’s no surprise then that when Quaynor was available again for selection in Round 14 he slotted straight into Collingwood’s defence.
“He was ready to go and it’s a real credit to him because in these moments his willingness to learn has just allowed him to keep getting better even in challenging circumstances,” Boyd said.
The 20-year-old arrived at the Holden Centre with significant plaudits from his junior football career after the Magpies opted to match the Giants’ bid for the talented defender.
A product of Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy through his affiliation with the Oakleigh Chargers, Quaynor was known for his decision-making and elite kicking.
Early doors, Boyd still remembers Quaynor arriving at the club and making himself known as someone who had the capacity to work hard and focus on improving.
During his first season Quaynor played four senior games and showed significant promise.
With greater opportunity this season due to long-term injuries to key members of Collingwood’s defensive unit, Quaynor relished his chance to play senior football again.
Boyd, who worked with Quaynor last year as a development coach before taking on the backline role this year, said the coaching staff had to balance Quaynor’s workload during his first season to ensure his body wasn’t going to breakdown.
“It’s been a bit of a gradual process but I think he’s been able to fit into our structure and apply our systems really well,” Boyd said.
“It probably took a little bit of adjustment and understanding of what we wanted him to do from a positional perspective and team defence but he’s embraced the role.”
Quaynor is averaging 14 touches across his eight games this season, but has been taking significant strides in his development, most notably against the Suns where he had 17 disposals and five rebound 50s.
Boyd has impressed by the growth of Quaynor this season, particularly in his role as a smaller defensive player.
Quaynor has played on the likes of Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron, Carlton’s Eddie Betts and Sydney’s Tom Papley, all of which have proved important learning opportunities.
“He’s been really competitive in those games and has shown his ability to be able to outplay someone and bring the ball out of our defensive zone,” Boyd said.
“As he grows in confidence he’s going to get better and better at understanding what opportunities there are in the game.
“As a club, we’re lucky to have that.”
AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2020
Round 1 — Sam Sturt (Fremantle)
Round 10 – Luke Jackson (Melbourne)
Round 11 – Kysaiah Pickett (Melbourne)
Round 16 – Will Day (Hawthorn)
Round 17 – Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood)