McKinnon: Life after footy, driving and fatherhood

For Alex McKinnon football is still a big part of his life.

As elite pathways recruitment manager, he looks after junior recruitment at the Newcastle Knights.

He also makes appearances for Fox Sports on the Sunday ticket each fortnight.

These are some of the things that keep him busy these days.

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But it’s outside of football, McKinnon is kept the busiest.

By far his greatest achievement in life, becoming a father for the first time

The 27-year-old and wife Teigan welcomed daughter Harriet Ann into the world in October last year.

It’s been an amazing journey. Filled with ups and downs but a lifechanging experience.

“Had absolutely no idea what I was in for,” McKinnon laughed.

“It was hard to build that connection initially because I was not really hands on and couldn’t really do a great deal.

“It’s hard to build that connection with your child but as time went on, I’m able to do a lot more now; interact and build that connection with me and Harry.

“I’d always say you’ve got to play the long game and that’s how I approached fatherhood and not worry about the initial frustrations.”

It’s given him a completely different outlook on life.

He wants the very best for his daughter. He wants her to have every opportunity.

“I look at women leaders these days and try and see different pathways for my daughter,” he said.

“Where will see end up and what interest she might have.

“What advice I’d give her or what I’d push her into.

“You definitely start to look through a different lens.”

Another challenge McKinnon has also overcome is getting his driver’s license again.

It’s the independence that has seen the former Knights grow stronger and given him a whole new lease on life.

“When I was working at the club for two years, Troy Pezet and Dean Noonan picked me up every morning, then I had to wait for them to take me home,” McKinnon added.

“I couldn’t get around to games by myself and couldn’t go see family by myself, I was very restricted to someone driving me around.

“Initially it was good to get out of the house and good to be working but it became a bit of a burden and it was one thing I don’t like, especially when I knew I could get my license.

In January 2018 he took the plunge, took some lessons and got his license.

The couple modified a van and he was ready to go.

McKinnon recalled it as a ‘pretty cool’ moment.

“I’ve had it now for over a year and it’s quite amazing the independence,” he said.

“It gives me that independence to help Teigan, it gives me a role, having the ability to drive around.

“I got to drive Teigan to hospital when we had the baby so just little things like that.

“I knew when Teigan and I were having a baby, I thought she can’t drive herself to the hospital, so I need to get my license.”