After an injury-interrupted four years on AFL lists with the GWS Giants and Melbourne, Pat McKenna was delisted at the end of the 2018 season. As he transitions out of the AFL system, McKenna has signed on as an assistant coach with Melbourne’s AFLW team. We went one-on-one with the Demons backline coach about his move into the coaching box, his plans for the future and whether or not he plans to continue his AFL dream.
You had quite an injury-interrupted career across your time at the GWS Giants and Melbourne. At what point did you start thinking about a career post-football and was coaching something you had always been interested in?
It was probably largely when I missed the whole season with hamstring troubles that I started helping out, just sitting in the coaches’ box with our VFL team Casey. I didn’t do much or say much, just listened to the coaches and tried to help out where I could. That gave me an idea that it was something I could see myself doing when I got out of football and then I had a similar year with some injuries this year and unfortunately got delisted. Coaching was something that I have grown into and the Melbourne job was lucky that it popped up when it did but I wasn’t expecting anything that soon or that big. I knew I wanted to complete my courses and get qualified and then give myself the option to enter into coaching.