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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Homesick Conor McKenna retires from AFL at 24 to return to Tyrone

McKenna had six years with the Bombers.

McKenna in full flight last month.
McKenna in full flight last month.
Image: AAP/PA Images

CONOR MCKENNA HAS announced his immediate retirement from Aussie Rules after the most dramatic year of his short AFL career.

After 79 games with Essendon, the Tyrone native will return home, he says.

McKenna tested positive for Covid-19 in June, forcing the postponement of the Bombers’ clash with Melbourne and he found himself at the centre of an intense media storm.

“I do really feel the time is now right for me to return home to Ireland,” the Eglish St Patrick’s man said. “I’ve made no secret of the fact that at some point, I’d want to be returning home to my family and I’ve been weighing up the decision recently.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but it’s also been a chance to take stock and weigh up several things in my life, so the time is right.

“I will always be grateful for Essendon’s support of both myself and my family since I arrived at the club from the other side of the world at the end of 2014.”

Tyrone are set to play Donegal on 31 October or 1 November in the Ulster SFC.

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