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HARRY McKay took just one game to get the recruiting world talking when he burst onto the TAC Cup scene at the start of this season.

Having played for Warragul last year at local level, McKay and his twin brother Ben were invited to train with Gippsland Power over summer.

Ben dropped out of the program only to return a few months later, but Harry remained and won selection for Gippsland's first game of the season, in round two against the Dandenong Stingrays.

The tall forward kicked four goals in his under-18 debut, and immediately had scouts interested as a possible first-round pick at November's NAB AFL Draft.

His impressive patches of form throughout the national carnival for Vic Country furthered his stocks, where he played five games in his side's division one title win. 

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McKay has most things you'd want in a key forward. At 200cm he has height on his side and he is prepared to fly for his marks and take the ball at his highest point. He's a sturdy left-foot kick, knows his way around goals (he booted 20 in 13 games for the Power this year) and he has the pace off the mark to get away from his man. 

It's his athleticism that is most enticing for clubs considering him as an early selection. McKay can swoop on the ball at ground level, is clean when it's up for grabs at his ankles, and can move comfortably around the ground. At the draft combine, he ran to level 14.1 in the beep test.

Because of McKay's reach in the air, he will also be able to play as a second ruckman at the top level. It was a role he took on part-time during the carnival for Vic Country, and will be something he will continue to develop as his frame grows. 

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McKay can be inconsistent at times, so needs to close the gap between his better games and his quieter ones. He also doesn't get heaps of the ball – he averaged fewer than 10 disposals for Vic Country and Gippsland – so will continue to develop ways of getting into the contest. 

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McKay is another forward prospect who might be able to develop into a player like Gold Coast's Tom Lynch. Similarly to Richmond's Ben Griffiths, he will be a marking target in attack because of his height and athleticism. 


Because of his exciting traits, McKay appears set to be a first-round draft pick. He seems likely to fit into the pick No.5-15 section of the draft.  

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Recruiters look for talent and sometimes it only needs a few moments to come to the fore. McKay did things at times this year that made people take notice: he's sharp, kicks goals and goes for his marks. He'll take some time before being AFL-ready, but he has most of the key elements to get there.