In the lead up to the 2013-14 season, join us as we count down the best 15 players in the A-League, as voted for by Goal and Sportal.com.au journalists and writers.
Captaining the most technically gifted team to grace the A-League in its short existence was enough to warrant McKay's inclusion in our countdown, despite the midfielder having been away from the competition for the past two seasons.
If Brisbane Roar fans had to choose a player they most readily identify with, it is likely to be home-grown lad McKay.
Not the most glamorous or skilful player in Ange Postecoglou's incredible Brisbane side, it was McKay who nevertheless epitomised the Roar's desire to win, and so while playing beautiful football.
|Brisbane Roar [2005-11, 2013-]
Aggressively patrolling the midfield, or providing endless running up and down the left flank, McKay was hugely influential when the Roar took the competition by storm in the 2010-11 season, and led the club to their first A-League premiership and championship, which was the result of an exceptional 36-game unbeaten run.
Returning to the A-League for the 2013-14 season after stints at Rangers in Scotland, Busan IPark in South Korea and Changchun Yatai in China, his tenacity in midfield has been missed by the Brisbane faithful, who will be hoping that he can pick up where he left off in partnering Thomas Broich, as well as new arrival Liam Miller and young gun Luke Brattan.
Energy, versatility and leadership. McKay provides tireless running, is able to break up opposition attacks and launch his own team's forays forward, by delivering reliably to more gifted members of the midfield and attack. He is also able to fill in at left-back or further forward on the flank, an adaptability which may come in handy as the demands of the season take their toll on the Roar's squad.
Losing 2-0 at half-time in extra-time in the 2011 A-League Grand Final, a stirring speech from McKay reportedly inspired the Roar to fight back and take the match to a penalty shootout, which they sensationally won 4-2, with the captain netting his team's third from the spot.
That proved to be the break-out season for the now 30-year-old, earning him a regular Socceroo role and an overseas transfer.