“WE SAT down over the bye week and it all happened really quickly.”
It was always a case of staying in the Navy Blue for Harry McKay.
The Coleman Medal leader has taken the football world by storm in 2021, but it was the talk around his future which dominated headlines in recent weeks.
There was nothing to worry about from McKay’s point of view.
The 23-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year extension at IKON Park, locking away his future at the Club until at least the end of 2023.
Speaking to Carlton Media, McKay said there was never the thought of playing his football elsewhere.
“I was pretty set in my own mind of what I was going to do: it was just about getting the right opportunity to do it,” McKay said.
“I have full faith in the direction we’re going in as a club. We’re not quite where we want to be at the moment, but I have a lot of faith in the playing group and the football department.
“It was a really smooth process. I’m glad to get it done.”
McKay maintained from the outset that he would delay any talk over his future until the midway point of the season so he could focus on his football.
The proof has been there for all to see, with the forward kicking 38 goals from his first 11 games before a concussion brought him from the field in the early going against West Coast.
With that clash with the Eagles marking his 60th at the elite level, McKay believes that the old adage about the football ‘apprenticeship’ rings true.
“I feel like I’m only just starting, to be honest,” he said.
“They talk about that apprenticeship of 50 games and once you’ve done that, you can really build into some strong form. It’s the first 50 games of hopefully a long career.
“I had a really good summer. I put in a loot of hard work and that was the catalyst for playing some good football so far this year.”
As things stand, McKay has kicked the last goal in front of Victorian-based Bluebaggers, with his long-range major against Hawthorn warranting a reaction befitting of the supporter base’s appreciation for the key forward.
That feeling is mutual, with McKay hoping to be back in front of the Navy Blue faithful in the coming weeks.
“It really gets you up and about when you see our supporters, our fanbase, at the games,” he said.
“They’ve been awesome. I’m really looking forward to having them back out there hopefully in the next couple of weeks back in Melbourne.”