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Gardner eyeing an AFL debut

Adam McNicol  January 10, 2017 11:15 AM

2017 Pre-season: Ryan Gardner Ryan Gardner is taller and stronger and knocking on the door for senior selection in 2017, Cats Media chats to the Tasmanian big man
AFL 2016 Training - Geelong 140416

Ryan Gardner training with the Cats during the 2016 season

Second-year defender Ryan Gardner is hoping a recent growth spurt will help him win a place in the Cats' backline during the 2017 AFL season.

The 19-year-old Tasmanian has grown two centimetres in recent months and has also added quite a bit of weight to his 199cm frame.

"I have grown a little bit," Gardner told Cats Media. "Everyone keeps saying it.

"It's not a bad thing for me."

Gardner played 15 VFL games in 2016, manning up on a number of power forwards, including Collingwood's Travis Cloke.

He is now aiming to make his AFL debut as a key defender.

"I've been working pretty hard with 'Scarlo' on spoiling and anything to do with defence," he said.

All going to plan, Gardner will be part of the Cats' JLT Community Series campaign, which begins with a clash against Hawthorn in his home state on Friday, February 17.

To watch the full video interview with Ryan Gardner, click on the video player at the top of the page