Q & A: Patrick McGinnity

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 8:00 AM by Katie de Haer

Patrick McGinnity gives an insight into East Perth's preparations ahead of the WAFL Season.

Players have recently returned to Leederville Oval to begin training in bigger groups - albeit still with restrictions. How good was it to be back?

PM: We were in groups of 10 for a few weeks before that, which was also a great step up from running on your own and trying to do as much skills as you could, on your own. Being back at the club makes things feel a bit more real again. And, it was good to see everyone. I hadn’t seen a lot of the younger boys for a fairly long time. Trying to stay in contact with everyone during the period was quite hard. It was really good to be back.

We've got a date locked in now for the WAFL season, teams will play each other once, plus finals. After five wins last year, do you think the refigured format presents an opportunity for East Perth to make an impact and a run for finals football?

PM: I definitely think it’s going to help us. I know we didn’t have that many wins last year, but I still think we were pretty competitive. We have a super young group who will continue to develop. With the short season, I think we’re going to benefit from it. I’m not too sure what other teams have done, but since our season was postponed, we’ve done a lot of work as a team. It’s been a pretty big effort from everyone, I can vouch for that, and everyone has come back in really good nick. I’m pretty hopeful for the year.

You mentioned those developing players – East Perth have recruited strongly in the off-season but have also lost some experience. What can fans expect from the team this year?

PM: I think they can expect to see a bit more excitement. I really do think the youth we were able to berth last year in games is going pay off this season. The new blokes we’ve brought in will bring a bit more experience, and a bit of toughness, as well, with guys like Robbo (Nick Robertson) and Angus Schumacher. I think we’ve tidied up a few areas with them and we’ll see a super competitive East Perth this year.

How's the body feeling heading into another season?

PM: It’s feeling pretty good actually. I had a slower start to pre-season before we broke off, which I think has actually helped me out a lot. I feel quite fresh after last season, I didn’t play many games last year, so I think that’s kind of helped me a little bit. I’m feeling pretty fit, there’s not too much soreness or anything like that yet and I’m pretty hopeful I can have a big impact this year.

Kyle Anderson announced his retirement recently and you will take the reins as sole captain with Jackson Ramsay as vice-captain. You've played with the Royals since the alignment in 2014 and have been co-captain since 2017. What does it mean to you to captain East Perth?

PM: It’s massive for me. After I finished at West Coast, to get to partner up with Shaggy as co-captain, it was a big honour and I’ve learnt a lot from him along the way. Now, to do it on my own, initially it was a bit daunting. I rely on Shaggy a lot, he’s a great mate of mine and a great leader. The opportunity means a lot and I’m ready for a big year with that sort of responsibility.

Kyle Anderson indicated recently that he felt he wasn’t a traditional leader like (former captain) Craig Wulff, but instead he had his own style of leadership. What kind of leader do you consider yourself to be?

PM: Like Kyle said, I don’t think anyone is a leader like Wulffy was – he was a bit of a one of a kind. I see myself as an action based leader. I don’t talk a lot unless I really need to. I sort of rely on the vice-captain and leadership group to do most of the talking. When we need to step up and play and train with intensity, I like to think that I try to lead the charge from that perspective.

And, what do you think Jackson can bring to the table?

PM: He’s still pretty young, Jackson. Obviously, he’s had AFL experience and he’s played a lot of footy now. He can bring his youth, bring his energy. He’s well positioned in the team, he’s a well-liked bloke and I think he’s going to have a big impact on the footy club.

A good friend and former teammate of yours at West Coast, Chris Masten, is set to line-up for Perth this year. How do you feel about the prospect of matching up against him?

PM: We’ve spoken about that a fair bit actually. It’ll be very interesting. I’m sort of hoping that I don’t get caught out on the wings with him because I can’t keep up. If we’re in close, I’d like to think I'd have him. We’re looking forward to playing against each other.