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No holding McKay back

Mitchell Jones  December 5, 2017 4:34 PM

For most debutants, being carried off the ground on a stretcher would be a forgettable moment, but North big man Ben McKay is using his experience as inspiration.

Now entering his third season, the key position player is confident he’s developed a strong foundation to help him make 2018 a career-defining year.

“I feel like I’ve set myself up well over the off-season break and put in the hard work, and I’m hoping to see results from that,” McKay told

In his first outing back in Round 23 against Brisbane at the GABBA, McKay suffered a game-ending concussion late in the third quarter after colliding with teammate Sam Durdin, but the 19-year-old refuses to dwell on it.

“It’s not the way I wanted it to pan out, but that’s footy.” McKay said.

“It was nice to get that one game in by the end of the year and get that monkey of my back, and I can now use that as motivation to have a solid pre-season, and I feel like I’m doing that so far.”

McKay’s ability to play at both ends of the ground and even pinch-hit in the ruck is a distinguishing feature of his game, and the 199cm youngster is intending on keeping his versatility.

“I don’t want to hold myself to just one position,” he said.

“I think it’s good to keep your options open and be versatile, and I want to be able to impact the game no matter where I play.”

McKay is determined to add to his games tally, and is confident the work he’s putting in will hold him in good stead.

“You can’t look too far ahead and only focus on the session ahead of you,” he added.

“That’s all I’m focused on. So as long as I do that, everything will take care of itself.”