Harry McKay (Gippsland Power)
Height: 200 cm
Weight: 85 kg
Position: Key forward
Strengths: Speed, athleticism, defensive pressure, marking
Weaknesses: Kicking, consistency, impact
Player comparison: Drew Petrie
First year impact: Long term prospect
Marking: Above average
Endurance: Above average
Speed: Above average
Harry McKay is an athletic key forward who shows plenty of glimpses as a raw talent.
McKay’s got more speed than most key forwards and he likes to get up the ground, showcasing his endurance desire to get involved in the play.
McKay is the type who can twist and turn through traffic like he’s a fleet-footed midfielder, but yet he also provides a strong market target around the ground and inside 50.
In terms of where he sits in this draft class in terms of marking, he’s probably in the top ten. He is excellent on the lead, but he also takes enough contested marks for a 200cm player. He took 20 contested marks over 13 games this season, with his best game coming against the smaller Northern Knights team, in which he took four contested grabs.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of McKay’s game is his defensive pressure. He laid just six tackles across his first eight games, but he ramped up his intensity after that. In his final five games, he laid 14 tackles, with five of those coming against the North Ballarat Rebels.
Coinciding with that, McKay started playing more as a pinch-hitting ruckman to end the year. His around the ground work was promising, and he even started getting a bit more of the ball.
Certainly, at 17 years old and a lightly framed key forward, it’s clear that he’s only going to show glimpses for this part of his development. Yet still, he’s only kicked more than two goals in a game twice this year in the TAC Cup.
He kicked 19.13 over 13 games, which is not ideal for a talented key forward. His kicking efficiency as a whole is not great, which is a worry for someone who seems so skilful.
McKay has struggled to leave his mark on the game, week-in, week-out. He’s still probably two or three years off being the size he needs to be to exert his dominance on the contest. Yet with his physical traits, recruiters would have liked to have seen him show a bit of consistency, especially if they were keen to draft him inside the first 15 picks.
McKay’s got plenty of upside, but at the moment, his lack of consistency and poor kicking prove to be serious risks.
Best case scenario, McKay could play in a similar role to Drew Petrie. He takes the ball at the highest point, he can get around the ground and he can pinch hit in the ruck.
Worst case scenario, McKay could be a Tyrone Vickery second forward. In either case, McKay looks more likely to be a complimentary forward rather than a 50-60 goal a year threat at his peak.