When you think of Lincoln McCarthy, you’re inclined to think back to Round 22 in 2019 when the Lions played Geelong at The Gabba.

Down by four points with two minutes to go, Alex Witherden managed to get a kick away deep into the Lions forward line and, seemingly from nowhere, the small-forward took one of the best marks he’ll ever take in his career.

The mark was one of McCarthy’s best ever grabs not only because of the difficulty of the mark itself, but in the context of the game and of McCarthy’s career.

Under extraordinary pressure, the former Cat went on to kick the goal to put the Lions ahead by two points. Of course, we all know the rest of the story.

It’s a moment that will forever be etched into Lions history, and one that McCarthy will forever be remembered for. However, few people know the full story of McCarthy’s career leading up to that moment.

The South Australian was originally recruited to Geelong in the 2011 draft and would only play 29 games over the next seven years after being struck down with continuous injuries. He was traded to Brisbane in 2018.

Prior to the start of the 2019 season, McCarthy set himself a personal goal to not miss any games. He would go onto play 24 out of 25 games for the season, including both Finals games in September.

The 26-year-old started the season with a bang, booting four goals against West Coast in Round 1. He would go onto to average a goal per game for the 2019 season, 13 disposals and 4 tackles. He had standout games against the Saints, GIANTS and Port Adelaide during the home and away season.

The small forward is poised to continue his good run for the 2020 season and is determined to make an impact. 

“I want to be able to contribute a bit more, it’s easier said than done”, McCarthy said earlier this year.