This week we catch up with former halfback and fullback Jamie McInnes who represented the club during the 80s. McInnes played most of his football in Reserve Grade before returning to coach the club’s President’s Cup side under Craig Bellamy.
Canberra Raider #71
What do you do for work now?
I’ve got a business we started 12 months ago. I’m in the building trade so I do shower screens and wardrobes.
What’s your favourite memory as a Raider?
For myself, probably just being involved with some of the elite players that were there at the time. You go through the names now and a lot of them are First Grade coaches or played for Australia. They were very good times.
The 1987 Grand Final springs up, the Raiders played that day and I was playing Reserve Grade then. I was more or less a lower grade player, I played a few games of first grade.
Being involved with the 1989 Grand Final also comes to mind, I was captain of Reserve Grade that year and in 1994 I was on the coaching staff when we won the competition. That’s when I was an assistant coach to Craig Bellamy for the Under 21’s side.
What did it mean to you, to wear the Raiders jersey?
It meant the world really. Like I said, was only a lower grade player but it was a great feeling. Throughout all my years playing out at Seiffert Oval, you’d get some pretty good crowds back then. I remember back when the Raiders played Parramatta out there one year and 17,500 people were there. It was packed.
Who was your favourite teammate?
I grew up with Ricky Stuart and I’m still good mates with him now. There’s a number of blokes really but I’m still good mates with Ricky. I know his family so we go back a long way. I never played a lot of football with him. I think he came to the club in 1988, I played half a dozen games of Reserve Grade with him and then he got promoted to First Grade.
Craig Bellamy was always somebody that I looked up to. His training ethics and everything was unbelievable, even as a player. He was one of those blokes who put everything in. He worked his butt off.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Ricky is the main one. I don’t see a lot of him but when we catch up it’s just like old times.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
Probably just being involved with some of the larrikins in 1984 when I first came to the club. Your David Grants and John McLeods and blokes like that, you would always have good times will blokes like that. Ashley Gilbert was also a great bloke.
Do you have advice for any younger players?
Make sure you put your best efforts in at the time and don’t ever look back. Look forward, time goes that quick so take any opportunity that comes around.