McInerney can play part as Lions’ No.1

McInerney can play part as Lions’ No.1

Oscar McInerney has served his AFL apprenticeship and says he’s ready for the rucking responsibility after mentor Stef Martin’s departure.

The late bloomer’s incredible rise from the VFL’s development league to AFL finals ruckman continued this week when the 26-year-old extended his deal at the Lions until the end of 2024.

McInerney proved his worth when Martin was sidelined last season, but ahead of his fourth AFL campaign has been handed the keys full-time after the veteran’s move to the Western Bulldogs.

Polite and understated off the field, McInerney said the decision to re-sign was “lightning quick and a dream come true”.

He has vowed to walk the walk as they attempt to harness their potential.

“It’s part of the role; you put a mask on for the two-and-a-half hours you play and be that aggressive guy, play big and look after your mates on the floor,” he said.

“He (Martin) was a great mentor, it’s different in our match sims not butting elbows every second week.

“It sits uncomfortably that good friends come and go, but it’s part of footy and he was a great mentor.

“I’ll try and copy and paste his professionalism to continue that path.”

He expects to still spend time in the forward line as part of a rotation with recruit Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood that could cause headaches as they look to build on two-consecutive finals appearances.

“I’m so excited to have Joe; what a presence he is on the field, I couldn’t believe how big he was when he first rocked up,” he said of the Essendon wantaway.

“We’ve got so many big boys on our list (that are) no longer liabilities or dinosaurs on the floor, that like to compete and get after it on the ground.”

News source : 7news

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