World News – AU – GUN FOR HIRE: Conor McKenna Launches Unique Return Plans For AFL


Conor McKenna shed more light on a potential AFL return after admitting upon retirement that he could be short-lived

The 24-year-old Irishman left Essendon in September and has since returned to play Gaelic football for Tyrone

Having battled homesickness, McKenna was desperate to be reunited with family and friends, but never completely closed the door on her return to Australia

« In two years, I might want to come back to play AFL, » he told the Essendon website two months ago

« I don’t think the book is completely closed yet, maybe I could come back and maybe hit the 100 mark (games) But at this point it’s over »

The running defender, who has played 79 AFL games, jumped straight into Gaelic football and took home the peer-voted Footballer of the Month award for October

McKenna still wants to end his comeback with an All-Ireland Championship, following in the footsteps of former Sydney Swans PM winner Tadhg Kennelly

But returning to Australia as a part-time AFL player is on his mind – if the schedules line up

« There’s something in the AFL where you can get a mid-season draft so you can be drafted in June and come out June through September. It’s really only two or three months

« I think the possibility might exist in three or four years with Gaelic, as they talk about a split season

« If Tyrone was out and the club was out of the league and there was a possibility of moving (to the AFL) for two or three months, it’s not something I would close the door »

The AFL this week revealed that the mid-season draft could be replaced for 2021 with a new model with three dates for clubs to add players

To complicate matters for McKenna, players wishing to be drafted must plan ahead and register before the AFL’s first round of the season in March

The AFL should also consider McKenna’s eligibility given that the mid-season draft is designed to place States League players on the rookie rosters as depth or injury cover

The proposed system allows clubs to assess the talent pool and nominate a player on three different dates in April, May and June

Conor McKenna, Gaelic Athletic Association, Mickey Harte, Essendon Football Club, Tyrone GAA, Gaelic Football, Aussie Football, Donegal GAA

World News – AU – GUN FOR HIRE: Conor McKenna Presents Unique Return Plans For AFL



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