The Cannon repays the faith

Sportal August 28, 2012, 2:02 pm
Trent McKenzie

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Trent McKenzie earned himself a week in the reserves and a stern talking to from coach Guy McKenna the last time Gold Coast celebrated a home win.

But following his club's latest triumph - a 12-point win over Carlton on Saturday night - the remorseful Suns superboot said he has learned from his mistakes.

McKenzie was banished to the NEAFL for missing a compulsory recovery session the morning after the Suns' first-ever win at Metricon Stadium over Greater Western Sydney two weeks ago.

It was a hard lesson for the 20-year-old, and one that spurred him onto an impressive 16-possession, one-goal showing against the Blues.

"I tried to pick it up on the weekend and give something back to the team," McKenzie told reporters on Tuesday morning.

"(The indiscretion) was pretty bad. Bluey was pretty good about it but obviously, he didn't like it.

"He said if you do the crime, you do the time. So I was back last week, and I've moved on."

McKenzie has had something of a second-year slump following his breakout 2011 campaign, which saw him quickly dubbed 'The Cannon' for his booming left-foot kick.

He puts it down to an injury-ravaged pre-season, which he is only now starting to recover from - not that he pays any attention to the knockers.

"I try to just do my best every week and let everyone have their own opinion - they're going to have it anyway," he said.

"You can only control what you can. The last month or so, my form's increased. As long as I'm trying my best and doing what I can, I'm not really worried."

Neither is team-mate Kyal Horsley, who has also climbed out of the reserves and made a name for himself at AFL level.

The WA product was another solid contributor in midfield against Carlton and is hopeful of penning a fresh two-year deal with the Suns at the end of this season.

"A 10-year deal would be better," Horsley joked.

"That's for the off-season. No discussions yet, but hopefully if I play good enough footy that'll take care of itself."

A new contract would continue the 24-year-old's remarkable story. Last year he finished second in the WAFL Sandover Medal count and considered himself 'no hope' of making the step up to the national competition.

"It'd be a dream to stay in the AFL and have another full pre-season and a bigger crack at it," he said.

"From where I was ... probably no hope a couple of years ago to where I am now, it definitely feels like a dream still."

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