Wednesday, 22nd June, 2011
The talented big man has always had the capacity to take control of a game, but this was the first time he’d made such an imposing impact on the scoreboard.
“I’ve kicked bags of five and six before, but I’d never got double figures,” he said.
“It felt pretty good. We’ve been struggling a bit this year, and I’d been struggling with my consistency, so it was good finally have everything go right.”
McInnes, who grew up in Menindee and Palmerston in the Northern Territory, played a mix of Aussie Rules and rugby in his formative years.
He represented the Northern Territory at State level in Under 16s football before joining the Magpies when his family returned to Broken Hill.
During his time in the city the 18-year-old was selected for the AFL NSW/ACT Talented Player Program, the GWS Giants Academy, and he attracted significant attention from SANFL recruiters after slotting five goals in Broken Hill’s recent representative game against Woomera Districts.
GWS Academy coach Dale Tonkin has worked extensively with McInnes in recent years, and said he has all the makings of a star.
“His overhead marking is very strong, he’s a brave player, and he works hard to keep the ball in his area,” he said.
“He’s straightened his body up a lot when he’s kicking, and that’s been effective. He’s kicking them from outside 50, no worries.
“He’s definitely a natural forward - he was kicking them from everywhere, from marks, on the run.
“I’d love him to be at West, he’s the sort of player you could build a team around.”
Central will be looking to resurrect their season after a commanding 71-point victory over West, and McInnes is sure to be crucial to their chances if they hope to make an impression in September.