“I LOOK up to him.”
Harry Lemmey doesn’t have to look far for inspiration and mentorship at IKON Park.
Lemmey has been his namesake Harry McKay’s shadow throughout his opening 12 months as a Carlton footballer, and it’s one which the youngster - and the 2021 Coleman Medallist - have lapped up.
The developing tall shed some light on his relationship with McKay - highly regarded for his training standards at the Blues - when speaking to Carlton Media.
Today's session in 60 seconds ⏰ pic.twitter.com/ZphCPc2EHr— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 29, 2023
“Me and ‘H’ are really close. We get along so well, I look up to him as a mentor,” Lemmey said.
“I always ask questions of him, and he’s happy to share. He’s a Coleman Medallist who’s got so much knowledge of the game, and is so professional off the field as well.
“For me, it’s about learning as much as I can from him. The more I can take from him to put into my game, the more I can pick his brain, the better footballer I’m going to come.
“Watching him train, him and ‘Walshy’ are definitely the two hardest trainers at the club. You take so much from that.”
Lemmey also shared a conversation he had with retired Blues veteran Ed Curnow during his first season at the Club, and how it proved to be the catalyst for his approach to this pre-season.
He revealed he has put on “3-4kgs already this off-season”, as outlined in his plan with the high-performance department.
“Ed Curnow pulled me aside and spoke to me last year, saying ‘You haven’t played a game yet, ‘H’, and the only way you’ll get in is if you’re training like you’re playing’.
“For Ed to pick it up, pull me aside and say ‘I know you can do better, let’s go hard at this’.”
The 19-year-old enters his second season at the Blues still dreaming of a debut, but still in the knowledge that he has the backing of the Club.
Lemmey signed an extra year contract extension during the 2023 campaign, staying at IKON Park until at least the end of 2025. For Lemmey, who won’t enter his second season with the threat of being out of contract looming large, it’s a show of faith from the football club.
“Especially in my position as a developing tall, to get that contract a year before it was due to end gave me so much confidence that they’ve got belief in me and they know I’m going to work hard for what I want to become,” he said.
“It’s given me the confidence to attack this year, fully go for it. Getting that contract gave my full confidence that they’re really behind me and belief in what I do.
“Making the most of the time I’ve got, learning off ‘H’ and Charlie and continue to learn my craft while getting closer and closer to the next step in my journey.”
For Lemmey, the next steps are all about getting to where he wants to get to. The post-match scenes in the elimination and semi finals - where Carlton’s non-playing players erupted in the race - was a sign of the togetherness of the group.
“It just showed how we are as a footy club — we’re one club.
“To see us get there after so many years not being able to have those finals wins, it meant so much to the group. Hopefully there’s more of that to come where I’m involved in it — I guess we’ll wait and see.”