Alex McKinnon and his family will be at Jubilee Oval at Kogarah on Sunday when the nib Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons play for a trophy named in his honour.
It will be the third time the Clubs play for the Alex McKinnon Cup, a day the Aberdeen local is looking forward to.
“I watch and barrack for both teams a lot, especially the Knights, but I have a lot of friends that still play for the Dragons and it is great to see them going well,” McKinnon said.
“I am excited to go back to Kogarah; I haven’t been back there since 2013 when I played an early round game.”
McKinnon admits this match is a meaningful occasion for his family.
“It is a time where my mum and dad get to go to the football again which is a routine they used to do every weekend from when I was about five-years old,” he explained.
“The first thing was dad called me on Monday asking if I was going and if I had tickets.
“As time goes on I think I will appreciate the game even more, I know I’ll appreciate it more this year than last year.
“I don’t really want it to be about me but more about my family going and them really enjoying it.”
McKinnon debuted at the Dragons in 2011 before he moved to Newcastle to record 46 first grade appearances for the Club.
“I think I view the Knights a lot harder than I view the Dragons,” McKinnon admitted.
“If I was playing, I’d still be playing for the Knights so I am more critical towards the Knights because I want to be out there playing with them and helping them.
“I don’t wish one wins over the other, it doesn’t really worry me but I would love to see the Knights get a few more wins so they can get away from the bottom of the ladder.
“I focus more on how my friends are going and hoping they do well.”
For the first time since inception, the Alex McKinnon Cup will be played on the Dragons’ home turf.
“I played Under 20s down there since I was 16 so we were always following the first grade team around; my parents were great supporters and my nan would always come to the game,” commented McKinnon.
“I had my debut at Kogarah so that is obviously a fond memory.
“My parents and family have a great relationship and history with the Dragons and especially going to Kogarah is something that used to do all the time, so it is special that it (Alex McKinnon Cup) is in Kogarah this year.”
All three grades will be in action this Sunday at Jubilee Oval, NYC kick-off is at 9.45am before Reserve Grade at 11.45am and NRL at 2pm.