Lions Profile: Keenan Mackett

Posted on May 27, 2013

Keenan Mackett is a quiet guy off the field, but don’t let that fool you: on the field he is a physical player who has started to develop into one of the top safeties in the league. At the tender age of 16 he would travel down from the Central Coast every week for training and games, never missing a session. The sort of player who would do whatever is required, Keenan played everywhere from offensive line to running back for the Cubs, before coming back to the Lions after a stint overseas with the armed forces. Watching him on film is a pleasure, as he personifies one of the most important aspects of defence: doing your job. A technically sound tackler and disciplined, Keenan has a very bright future in the sport.

Always taking good angles, Keenan is the safety net of tackling in the secondary

How long have you been playing for?

I started playing for the Cubs back in 2005 as a 16 year old youngster.I played 2 years in Colts before coming up to Division 1 where I continued to play for another 2 years then leaving for the Australian Defence Force in 2008. Having spent enough time on the side line I returned to lions football in 2012.

What position?

As a Cub in the Colts Division I played Safety, Receiver, Linebacker and Offensive Line. In 2006 when I made the move up to Lions I had a go at Receiver where I quickly realised I had the ball skills of a Defensive Back. The following year I switched sides of the ball and started at outside Linebacker, then in 2012 moved outside the tackle box and am playing Safety.

What is your sporting background?

Before Gridiron I enjoyed playing Rugby League, Cricket, Touch Football and Oz Tag. Whilst in the Army I also found Crossfit and it grew on me pretty quickly. I like the high intensity and the high mental and physical toughness you have to show to complete each workout.

What do you like about the game?

I like the competitiveness of the game and how everyone on the field has a job to do, and how everyone must execute their role to get the win.

What do you find the biggest challenge of the game?

The biggest challenge was trusting Mathieu Bertrand’s navigation to get us to a game. It was a supremely challenging task to arrive at the correct destination and not be at some cow paddock near the back of Woop Woop.

Keenan came up big in the Waratah Bowl, taking this spectacular interception

Where do you hope to go with the sport?

My first goal is to help in any way, make the next 10 years look a lot similar to the last 10 years. I would also like to put on a NSW and AUS jersey as a Lions. It always make for a great sight to see the Wolf Pack photos/videos when there are so many yellow helmets.

Favourite pre game Music?

The designated DJ of the vehicle was Bertrand, so our pre game music was usually something along the lines of ¬†Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne and Carly Rae Jepsen (of “Call Me Maybe” fame).

Favourite pre game food?

4-5 hours before the game I like to have a chicken pad thai ( or any combination of high carbohydrate asian style food). As it gets closer to kick off I try to go for the lollies or a banana.

Favourite Lions memory?

Being a part of a few of the decade of dominance teams is a great memory. You rarely hear about teams winning like that on a consistent basis over such a long period of time. It makes for a great feeling every Saturday knowing how successful the club has been and will be in the future.

Toughest opponent you ever faced as a lion?

Besides one on ones every Wednesday night, the game vs UTS in 2012 on the Central Coast was as tough as it gets. Coming away with a rewarding 6-2 win, the Gators drove the ball down the field on a numerous amount of occasions but the defence didn’t break once.

Favourite opposition to play against?

After an offseason of training with some of the Central Coast Sharks players I can see the games will be interesting and am looking forward to the challenge.

Favourite movie? 

Restrepo is a documentary that came out in 2010 that followed 2nd Platoon, B Company, 503rd Infantry Regiment ,173 Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S Army in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. Its a pretty good watch.