COLEMAN Medals, a competitive edge and coming up against Ben. 

There’s no rest for the wicked in the off-season: just ask Harry McKay.

The All Australian is once again spending his time in the build-up to pre-season working with The Speed Project, looking to gain an edge with his running power. 

It was a move which paid dividends for McKay, who went onto produce a Coleman Medal-winning season on the back of a summer last year which saw him focus on backing in his strengths. 

With brother Ben (amongst other opposition players) joining him, McKay had a chat with Channel 7’s Mitch Cleary to discuss the program, his goals for 2022… and that all-elusive first clash with his twin. 

01:46 Mins
Published on

Harry on Coleman, competitive edge, facing Ben

Harry McKay - and twin brother Ben - joined Channel 7's Mitch Cleary to discuss what he's doing to take his game to another level this off-season. Footage courtesy of the Seven Network.

Published on

Bettering himself in the lead-up to pre-season:

I’m trying to get a bit quicker. I’ve said it before, but as an industry I think we look at working on our weaknesses a little bit but I think my athleticism is one of my strengths. I still want to work on my strengths and get a little bit quicker. 

Jarrad [Kay] talks about it being a second or half a second quicker, but that could mean 10-20 metres [on your opponent]. I’m looking for little ways to improve and I’m all about that. 

How The Speed Project helped him in 2021:

It’s hard to put a number on it, but I found training at a high speed and using some of those techniques — I felt like I was quick and powerful this year and a lot quicker and more powerful than the year before. I add that in with a lot of gym work and the stuff we do at the Club, and I think it was a really good recipe. 

Playing against brother Ben: 

It’s been well-documented, but we haven’t been able to play against each other yet. It’s building the suspense a bit. I’m looking forward to it — if it ever happens. I guess the universe just doesn't want us to play against each other in front of no crowds I reckon, Mitch. So hopefully in 2022, we'll see how we go.

It’ll be interesting. I haven’t thought about it too much. I think the first 5-10 minutes will feel a bit different but after that, it’ll feel like just another game. It’s always built up a little bit, but once the ball is bounced it’ll just be another game and just another defender. 

Harry and Ben McKay are yet to play against each other at senior level since being drafted in 2015. (Credit: AFL Media)

Backing up a Coleman Medal season:

I thought 2021 was a good stepping stone: I was a bit more consistent and managed to take some steps forward. I do feel like I’m just getting started. I feel like I can be a lot more consistent. As a forward, we talk so much about the craft: you watch some of the guys like Buddy, Josh Kennedy, Jack Riewoldt and Tom Hawkins. You see their craft and their ability to do it for years and years. 

I look at where I’m at compared to them, and there’s still plenty to work on. I’m still chipping away at that, and staying healthy. You do a lot of work in the off-season to set yourself up and I’m really looking forward to taking my game to a new level as well as with the team as well. 

An update on his shoulder:

It’s really good. It’s feeling 100 per cent now: I’d be playing if the season was going now. It feels really good. It was a little bit annoying to miss the last couple of games, but it was good to get it done and have a really clear run at the off-season. 

For the full chat with Harry and Ben McKay, you can watch at this link via Channel 7’s Youtube channel.