HARRY McKay isn’t resting on his laurels after a breakthrough year in 2019.
In fact, in his own words, he “wants to take it to another level”.
McKay enjoyed what was undoubtedly his best season since being drafted four years ago, playing 20 games and topping Carlton’s goalkicking.
It marked an end to a frustrating run for McKay, who had played 15 games in his first three seasons at Ikon Park.
“I was up and down a little bit but for the majority, I enjoyed my footy this year,” McKay said to Carlton Media.
“I was really keen to play some consistent senior footy, so to get 20 games out was nice.
“I feel like I’ve got a huge scope to improve still.”
McKay showed the football world what he was capable of in 2019, placing third in the competition for contested marks despite missing two games.
Back, foot and toe injuries had curtailed McKay’s progress since being drafted, but he missed only two games this year with a groin complain mid-season.
The 21-year-old never had doubts over his ability to perform at the elite level: however, there was plenty of frustration, born out of the fact that he was watching from the sidelines while members of his draft class were flourishing.
“Putting those injuries behind me was one of my focuses heading into the year, having a clean bill of health,” he said.
“It’s more the fact that I’ve seen other guys in my year play senior footy and play good footy, while I was there thinking ‘I could do that if I could get out there’.
“The last couple of years, I’ve been able to play footy without being injured and starting to build some consistency in my body.”
In the pre-season, the challenge was presented to the Club’s youngsters to ‘own the future’.
Through the likes of McKay and Jacob Weitering, they showed they’re capable of leading the new wave of talent at Ikon Park.
“The other guys in my draft class, we’ve been here long enough now to make it our club and take things forward,” he said.
“I’m sure the Club and us as individuals will look to that group as the ones to take it forward. A lot of us have had solid years but there’s a lot of scope to improve, which is really exciting.”
As for the season highlight from Harry?
It’s hard to go past that sealer against St Kilda in Round 22: however, according to the man himself, he didn’t think it was that special.
“I thought it was just a normal snap,” he said.
“I didn’t think too much of it: then, after the game they were saying ‘Derm [Dermott Brereton] reckons it’s the goal of the year, talk us through it!’.
“It was nice to have it go through and to get the win, it was a great day for footy. The crowd was amazing.”