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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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'He’ll be a tremendous asset' - Sydney Swans confirm signing of Wexford footballer

Barry O’Connor will join Tipperary’s Colin O’Riordan at the club.

Barry O'Connor pictured in action in the O'Byrne Cup in 2018.
Barry O'Connor pictured in action in the O'Byrne Cup in 2018.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

WEXFORD’S BARRY O’CONNOR has become the latest Irish player to sign for an AFL club with the Sydney Swans today confirming that he will join them for the start of the 2020 pre-season.

O’Connor is set to sign a two-year contract as an International Category B Rookie after previously having travelled to Australia for a trial with the club in April.

Last month O’Connor lined out at centre-forward for the Wexford senior footballers in their Leinster championship loss to Louth. The St Martin’s club man has been one of the county’s brightest underage prospects in recent years and lined out in the 2017 Hogan Cup final in Croke Park for St Peter’s from Wexford town.

He’ll increase the Irish contingent at the club with Tipperary’s Colin O’Riordan already established and the 23-year-old has made five AFL appearances this season to date.

His father George enjoyed a long career with the Wexford senior hurlers that culminated in All-Ireland glory in 1996. His cousins Rory and Jack are currently part of the Wexford senior setup with clashes against Carlow next Saturday and Kilkenny on 15 June set to be pivotal in shaping their season.

“Barry showed a lot of promise at an AFL Combine in Dublin and continued to impress in his two-week stint at the club earlier this year,” stated Kinnear Beatson, the club’s general manager.

“He’s consistently displayed strong athletic qualities for a 193-centimetre player, and he’s very skilled by hand and foot. Not only has he shown plenty of potential to develop skills that are transferrable between Gaelic football and Australian Rules Football, there is a lot to like about his ability to make the right decision under pressure, as demonstrated in a series of grid games at the AFL Combine in Dublin and while training with the Swans Academy.

“Barry is also a very hard worker and a great person to have around the group, so he’ll be a tremendous asset to the club come his arrival in late October or early November.

“His character, personality, and determination to succeed are very similar to fellow Irishman Colin O’Riordan, so it provides great confidence that he will give it everything he has in order to be successful.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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