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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021
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McKenna returns to Tyrone from AFL club 'due to homesickness and family-related reasons'

McKenna has been playing with Essendon since October 2014.

Conor McKenna in action for Essendon in the AFL last summer.
Conor McKenna in action for Essendon in the AFL last summer.
Image: AAP/PA Images

‘HOMESICKNESS AND FAMILY-related reasons’ have been revealed as the explanation behind Tyrone’s Conor McKenna opting to return home from Australia where he plays for AFL club Essendon.

McKenna, who has become a regular for the side since making the sporting switch from Gaelic football to Australian Rules in October 2014, has made the move with the full support of his Melbourne-based club.

Essendon’s general manager of football Dan Richardson spoke about the 23-year-old’s return in an official statement. McKenna is currently contracted with the club until the end of 2021.

“We have been in lengthy discussions with Conor over recent weeks and we are completely supportive of him returning home to be with his family at this time,” Richardson said.

“We remain in constant communication with both Conor and his family and we will continue to provide our support during this period.”

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McKenna’s departure was regarded as a setback for Tyrone football as he had emerged as one of their promising youngsters when starring in their minor campaign that concluded at the All-Ireland final stage in 2013.

He has progressed in Australia to make 73 AFL appearances for the Essendon club. McKenna lined out last year for Essendon in the AFL Finals but they lost out heavily to West Coast Eagles in elimination final.

In November he lined out at home with his club Eglish in a Tyrone league relegation play-off, a decision that landed him in hot water with Essendon as they were unaware he was going to be lining out in a Gaelic football match.

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Fintan O'Toole

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