Jenner, passing on experiences to the younger players
By Ella Watson
Kyle Jenner is a long term player at the Central District Football Club - a member of the 2010 Premiership Team.
Jenner more commonly known as 'Alfie' due to his love of the late 80’s show ‘Alf’ is now officially the oldest member of the Centrals team and is a mentor for many of the young players joining the team.
“The experienced players are the leaders of the team, when I first came to the club a majority of the team were 26 and older now a majority are 24 and younger so we try and encourage the younger guys to step up and become leaders.”
Jenner was recruited by Centrals from the Port Adelaide Football Club, he came to the club in 2009 after spending a year back playing footy in his home town of Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula due to injuries.
“I thought I would take some time off and play in the country then Kris and Roy rang me and said would you like to come out to Centrals, I spoke with a few other clubs, but Centrals seemed to be the place to be - especially when they were winning all the premierships.”
“It feels more like a country club in the city, which is good for me being from the country, everyone is really welcoming.”
Port Adelaide originally recruited Jenner to play in their Junior Country Zone League in under 15’s and under 17’s.
From there Jenner was invited to board in the city and play in Port’s under 17’s and under 19’s Metropolitan team.
Jenner went on to play reserves and League games at Port from 2004 to 2007.
In 2010 Jenner was part of the legendary premiership team in which he gave a stand out performance using his ball getting ability and footy smarts to win his first League premiership.
“It was amazing, probably something you’ll always want to do again, it’s what’s keeping me going now, it’s definitely the best feeling in my life.”
Jenner also played in what can only be described as the devastating 3-point loss to the Eagles in the 2011 Grand Final.
“It was pretty disappointing we were favourites to win that year we got straight into the grand final again.”
“It is the completely opposite feeling to winning you just don’t know what to do, at that time we were playing in premierships all the time so we thought we would come back and win next year, but that was the last one we played in, now we are just striving to get back in the grand final and win.”
As Jenner has matured his role on the field has changed, still known for his competitiveness and club first attitude Jenner has moved from the wing to playing at half forward and in the forward pocket.
“I play mainly forward now, either half forward or the forward pocket, I play on the wing occasionally.”
Jenner admits past problems with injuries and his age means he takes longer to recover than some of his team mates.
“I’m the oldest in the team so it sometimes takes me a little longer to recover than the rest of them, but that’s alright.”
“I’ve had a lot of injuries, I’ve had surgery on my ankle twice and it still gives me trouble now so I’m restricted training wise.”
Jenner now evaluates his playing future season by season based on the number of games he plays throughout the season.
“If I got to the end of the season and wasn’t playing regular League football that would probably tell me I might be past it a bit, last season I played every game I only missed one because I was sick.”
“This season I played a couple of reserve games just to build up some match fitness and have played the last month in the League team, I still really enjoy playing, but I know my body isn’t always going to allow me to do it.”
After completing a strong preseason Jenner is in good form to play a strong season, modifications to his preseason routine ensure Jenner can reach his peak physical fitness without placing too much pressure on his ankle.
“This preseason is probably one of the best I’ve had in a long time, it’s a little bit modified because of my ankles, but it’s been one of the best years in terms of doing all the work, I’ve averaged about 90% of the training load where as in previous years I’ve only managed 75%.”
“I do a lot of work away from the club like swimming, stuff that isn’t weight baring because it’s less stress on the body.”
Determined to avoid last season’s slow start the focus of this year is to try to win as many early games as possible.
“I think we are definitely better than last season, we’ve brought in the players we needed, all the younger guys are a year older and more experienced, I think we are in better shape and hopefully we can win some of those early games to put us in better shape for the rest of the year.”
This week the League team face the Adelaide Crows at home after a disappointing loss to Glenelg. The reserves will face Norwood.
|Jenner, the Wingman, bursts away in 2011|
|Celebrating a goal in 2013|
|Against his old side, Jenner fires out a handball under pressure from another ex-Magpie (now Sturt leader) Zane Kirkwood|