McKinnon itching to settle into Tigers camp

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McKinnon itching to settle into Tigers camp - and day-to-day family life
JAMIE PANDARAM
May 29, 2010

THE past year has been difficult for Wade McKinnon, and not primarily because the fullback had lost his starting place in the Warriors side. The 29-year-old was living in New Zealand while his baby son Keylye was in Sydney. McKinnon can now be present for the big moments of his child's life after joining the Wests Tigers for the rest of the season.

''I still have another year left on my contract at the Warriors so I wasn't expecting to be home for a long time,'' McKinnon said. ''It has been quite tough being away from family and friends, and my son in Sydney. He is turning one soon.

''It will be really good to settle back in.''

At his fourth NRL club, McKinnon is convinced he can finally win a premiership. The fullback arrives in Sydney tomorrow and greets his new teammates at Monday morning's training session.

''I definitely think that players that are there, we have the potential to win the comp,'' he said. ''A lot of them have done that already.

''I am not just going to a team thinking I want to play some first grade, we can win.''

While unwanted by coach Ivan Cleary in the starting line-up, McKinnon holds no ill-will towards his former club.

''I wasn't being picked in the team, and it wasn't due to bad form, it was just the structure of the team that Ivan was going with,'' McKinnon said. ''I was frustrated that I wasn't playing but that's football these days, it's professional sport. I have got no bad feelings towards anyone, they have been great to me, it's all good.

''I was getting frustrated and I just wanted to find somewhere I could play regular football again.

''I have loved it at the Warriors, some of my best mates are there.''

Three years ago McKinnon was the villain of Campbelltown after the crowd believed he had kneed Tigers winger Taniela Tuiaki, an incident for which he was sent off. Replays showed McKinnon did not intentionally thrust his knee into Tuiaki and he was cleared. Strange now that McKinnon will call Campbelltown Stadium home on occasions.

''It came out that I didn't do anything wrong, that is life, it happened in the past, but it just goes to show you should never burn your bridges because you never know where you'll end up in the future,'' he said.

Having started his career at Souths in 2002 and then moving to Parramatta, McKinnon spent three years in New Zealand.

''I am really not seeing any negatives in the move, I am excited to get there and rip in,'' McKinnon said. ''I know a few of the boys at the Tigers which helps.

''They have good forwards and the way they throw the ball around will give me some opportunities, hopefully.

''It was pretty quick, there were a few English clubs as well when the Tigers came up it worked straight away.''

And while moving his entire life to a different country has been difficult to organise, McKinnon said that isn't his biggest challenge.

''I have been at a few clubs now, the hardest part about joining a new club is learning all the nicknames.''
 

westTAHger

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I am looking foward to seeing Wade, chime into the backline and add a bit more venom the wests-tigers backline.
a time is not far away, when wests-tigers will have a back line that other teams are envious of.
 

KingOvKingz09

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cant wait for him to start playing… if he gives us his all... this year will look promising
 
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Batz

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Does he happen to be a goalkicker ? I still close my eyes when Benji lines up a kick :astonished:)

Can someone tell me who our backup kicker is if Benji gets injured?
 

alien

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@Batz said:
Does he happen to be a goalkicker ? I still close my eyes when Benji lines up a kick :astonished:)

Can someone tell me who our backup kicker is if Benji gets injured?

McKinnon has never kicked a goal in first grade. Farah could be second in-line for goal kicking. I think his percentage was around 70% which is actually better than Benji's percentage this year. I hear Lawrence, Tuqiri and Flanagan aren't too shabby with the goal kicking.
 
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