Ben McKay Towering Vision: Ben McKay, Essendon’s recent recruit, is bringing a positive outlook to the team’s defensive strategies, particularly emphasizing the potential transformation of their height disadvantage into a formidable strength during the upcoming 2024 season. Standing tall at 202cm, McKay’s settling into Essendon has been facilitated by the guidance of former coach Brad Scott and teammate Todd Goldstein. The 202cm defender, rated elite for intercept marks, is eager to collaborate with fellow interceptors, including Mason Redman, Jordan Ridley, Jayden Laverde, and Zach Reid.
Essendon has faced challenges defending against prominent key forwards since the retirements of defensive stalwarts Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker. McKay sees the current blend of height and agility in Essendon’s defensive lineup as a valuable asset that can be strategically leveraged in their favor.
While full pre-season training for McKay is set to commence when the senior players return on November 27, he has been actively participating in sessions, getting acquainted with teammates, coaches, and the club’s facilities. McKay expresses admiration for the strong work ethic displayed by the younger players during the initial pre-season sessions.
In addition to on-field dynamics, McKay acknowledges the significance of off-field relationships. He notes that meeting teammates and staff in a more informal setting has contributed positively to building rapport and familiarity. The positive atmosphere at Essendon, as observed by McKay, extends not only to the players but also to the diligent staff members, emphasizing a collective commitment to success.
Reflecting on his recruitment, McKay highlights the supportive environment created by fellow recruits Xavier Duursma, Jade Gresham, and longtime teammate Todd Goldstein, making his assimilation into the club smoother.
Moreover, the commercial landscape of Essendon has witnessed a recent change with the team parting ways with Amart, its co-major partner for the past five years. The club announced a new three-year deal with Dutton Automotive, expressing anticipation for a successful partnership.
As Essendon undergoes changes both on and off the field, McKay’s positive attitude and belief in the team’s potential add a hopeful narrative to the upcoming season.