Cross-country record rivals

In the small NSW town of Jerilderie ” population 1070 ” full-|forward Aaron Purcell is having the best season by any Picola and District league player in almost three decades. He has booted 134 goals in 12 games to lead all-comers on the national country football goalkicking table.

But not far behind is our own Chidlow (population 1803) sensation Adam McKinlay, with 94 goals from just 10 Hills Football Association games.

Both are chasing the all-time record for the most number of goals kicked in a country league in any season, set by The Footy Show star and former Geelong great Billy Brownless, who posted 148 majors for Jerilderie seniors in 1985.

McKinley needs to bag just six more goals to reach his century, which is almost certain to come tomorrow when Chidlow takes on lowly Forrestfield at home.

The Rhinos have just one win in 10 games in their first season in the league and McKinlay booted a |season’s best 13 goals when they last met.

Modest 34-year-old Purcell has dominated opponents in the Picola league’s North West division, kicking bags of 11, 11, 13, seven, nine, 16 and 25 in the opening rounds. He has booted another 67 goals in six games since, including 13, 11 and 11 at his past three outings. ‘The onballers have been supplying me, which makes my job a bit easier,’ Purcell said this week.

A five-time premiership player at Jerilderie, journeyman Purcell is also a premiership player at Lavington, in Victoria’s Ovens and Murray Football League, has represented NSW, had a stint at Yackandandah in the Tallangatta and District Football League, and also played for Bundaberg during a move to Queensland. Yet this season is the first time he has booted 100 goals.

McKinlay (22) is similarly unassuming when it comes to his football.

The Mt Helena native recently told the Gazette: ‘I don’t really think about it too much.’

‘After each game my teammates have a laugh about it, but I’m not fussed on the number of goals I kick.

‘I just look forward to the winning score on the board.’ Winning is certainly something Chidlow knows all about. They have not tasted defeat in 10 games this season and are six points clear atop the HFA senior league table.

Interestingly, McKinlay has booted almost one third of his team’s total score of 1863 points.

The young forward, who also booted 100 goals for the Cougars in 2011, played 16 reserve games for 35 goals with WAFL club Swan Districts last year. He also played three senior games.

McKinlay also played three of the first four reserve games with the Swans this season, where he booted five goals, before returning to the HFA.