Having been an assistant coach for the Queanbeyan Blues 2017 Premiership with his cousin Aaron McInnes and son-in-law Scott Rutland playing in the side, it would be an understatement to say that rugby league is in Jamie McInnes’ bloodline.
However, after being involved in rugby league within the Canberra region for around 40 years, the former Canberra Raider has decided to step down from his role with the Queanbeyan Blues as he looks to focus on his new business and spend more time with his family.
“I’m not going to have the same capacity at the Blues, but I’ll still go and watch the bigger games and lend a hand if required,” McInnes said. “It’s time to do some other things I guess.”
While for most people spending time with family would mean seeing less football, that certainly isn’t the case for McInnes.
During his new found time off, McInnes plans to go watch his grandson Max play for the Queanbeyan Blues Under 6 side and his nephew Zane represent the Canberra Raiders in the Harold Matthew Cup.
“It’ll be a really good opportunity for me to go and see them play,” McInnes said. “Football’s in the bloodline.”
McInnes started his career with the Blues as a junior and went on to play for the Raiders before coaching Woden Valley Rams, Cooma Stallions, Queanbeyan Kangaroos, Queanbeyan Blues and even becoming an assistant coach to Craig Bellamy for the Canberra Raiders President’s Cup side.
Despite being beaten five times in grand finals as a head coach, McInnes enjoyed great success as an assistant as the Blues won three in five years in his time there.
Fellow Queanbeyan Blues assistant coach Adam Lenihan the work Jamie did at the club during his five years as an assistant was invaluable to the club.
“He came to the club with Simon Woolford, and I started coaching the Under 18’s that year too,” Lenihan said. “With Simon and myself being young coaches, Jamie had the ability to oversee the whole situation and not just focus on the football. He was the voice of reason.
“Often it was Simon up in the box and Jamie and me on the sideline. They were good times and successful times.”