The former Essendon star, who played 232 games across 14 seasons at Windy Hill, grew up on the Central Coast, and he's seen the indigenous game come a long way since his early days playing junior football at Pennant Hills.?
"There's been a huge shift over the last 20 years in the way footy is perceived in NSW," McVeigh said.
"With the dual premiership success of the Swans, and the introduction and progress of the GIANTS, I think football is incredibly strong - the strongest I've ever seen it.
"It (AFL) is going from strength to strength in this region, which is really exciting."
The Harbour City secured a raft of high-profile signings during the trade period - highlighted by the GIANTS' recruitment of Heath Shaw and Shane Mumford, and the Swans' much-publicised snaring of Lance Franklin - moves McVeigh thinks will pay dividends.
"Both Sydney and the GIANTS will really benefit on-field from these signings, and I think the profile of the game will be raised as well," he said.
"Buddy Franklin in particular will ensure there's a lot more media coverage surrounding AFL, which is fantastic."
While his brother Jarrad will be feeding Franklin plenty of football from the Swans' midfield next year, Mark McVeigh will be nurturing the next crop of GIANTS stars from the helm of the club's Academy.
After retiring at the end of 2012, and spending a year as Talent and Coaching Manager of the Sydney North region, McVeigh was lured to the GIANTS a fortnight ago.
And the 32-year-old's wasted no time warming to his work out west.
"I've been made very welcome since I started, and received tremendous support from everyone involved with the GIANTS, as well as my former employer AFL NSW/ACT," McVeigh enthused.
"I'm really enjoying it, and now my aim is to make this the best academy program in the country."
To reach that goal, McVeigh cites a need to upskill coaches, strengthen relationships across the Greater Western Sydney area, and improve communication channels between the club, parents, coaches, and children, with a particular focus on "reaching out via social media and the digital space."
But above all that, he wants to build his legacy around an outstanding culture.
"The Swans have built an amazing culture, the GIANTS are doing it, and I think the Academy should follow suit," McVeigh said.
"I think it's probably the most important aspect of any good organisation - good culture breeds success."