Who is Sydney’s best chance of winning the Rising Star Award? Justin McInerney’s second nomination has put him back in contention once again.
McInerney became the fourth Swan of the year to be nominated this week, after playing a key role in Sydney’s biggest win of the year against West Coast on Sunday.
McInerney’s 22-disposal haul was the second week in a row he had amassed 22 disposals, and he is averaging 17 for the season, a sign of consistency throughout his 13 games so far.
“It’s good to get some continuity with my game,” he said.
Sydney’s 92-point win was also, in McInerney’s words, “the most convincing victory so far,” and it puts Sydney in a good position ahead of its toughest test yet, the top of the table Western Bulldogs.
McInerney said that it will be good to see how Sydney goes against one of the benchmark teams of 2021 so far.
“[It’s a] massive challenge, [they’re] top of the ladder, and they’re playing some great footy. So hopefully we can match it with them [and] won’t be too far away,” he said.
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Earning a second Rising Star nomination brings a sense of déjà vu for the young winger/midfielder, as the nod came while Sydney are hubbing away from its home base in New South Wales, the same as in 2020.
Despite being uprooted for the second time. McInerney wasn’t fazed about going on the road again.
“It wasn’t too drastic, we got warned a couple days before that we had to maybe leave within 24 hours. So, it wasn’t terrible, we just packed our bags and got on with it,” he said.
“Obviously, some of the older boys got family up in Sydney, so it’d be great to stay in Sydney, but it’s our job [to play football], so [we] just got to roll with the punches.”
With the Battle of the Bridge against Greater Western Sydney to come, the Swans will be hoping to get back to Sydney, but McInerney is pragmatic about the situation.
“I don’t think the cases are going too well up there [in Sydney], but whenever we get back, it’ll be good to get back. So, whatever happens, happens I guess,” he said
Sydney takes on the Western Bulldogs at 3.20pm on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.
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