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Dublin: 18°C Sunday 13 June 2021

'Down the line I definitely see myself coming back at some stage' - Mark O'Connor

The double minor All-Ireland winner has been a quick convert to life in Australia with the Geelong Cats.

YOUNG GEELONG CATS prospect Mark O’Connor has hinted he may return to wear the green and gold of Kerry at some stage in the future.

Mark O'Connor celebrates with the trophy Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A double All-Ireland minor winner with the Kingdom in 2014 and 2015, O’Connor signed with the AFL side last October. He made a meteoric rise which saw him make his senior debut for the Cats just six months later.

He featured in just one game since but is still reportedly highly regarded by Geelong as he enters the second year of his two-year Category B rookie deal in 2018.

O’Connor is currently back in Ireland enjoying the Aussie Rules off-season, but he hasn’t ruled out the prospect of returning home for good once his current deal expires.

“Down the line I definitely see myself coming back at some stage,” he told Kerry Radio’s Terrace Talk last night.

“I often do,” he replied when he was asked if he still misses Gaelic football.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. Even just over the weekend I had a friend come up from Australia and he stayed with me. We went up to the sports field in Dingle with the round ball, with the O’Neills, and we had a kick.

Great to be back!😃

A post shared by Mark O'Connor (@markcon17) on

“It’s not as if I disliked football or anything, I really loved it. So that doesn’t leave you. Down the line I definitely see myself coming back at some stage.”

O’Connor has predominantly featured on the half-back line for Geelong’s senior and reserve sides, a typical position for Irishmen in the AFL.

Back in May he was described by the Australian Herald Sun “as a player who has pace to burn, breaks the lines, loves to tackle and has a surprisingly good kick for someone so new to the game.”

A moment to forget after an unforgettable first win with the Cats!😂

A post shared by Mark O'Connor (@markcon17) on

If he continues to make strides in the coming season, there’s a good chance O’Connor will be offered a new deal by the club who reached the last four of the Premership finals series this year.

“I’ll give it a chance,” said O’Connor about his future Down Under. “As long as I’m still enjoying it.

“And I really do (enjoy it). I still love the game over there, it’s really good fun but that mightn’t necessarily be the case next year or the year after. So if I do fall out of love with it or if things change, you never know.”

David Clifford, another highly-rated prospect in the county, recently confirmed his intention to turn down advances from Australia to focus on his future with the Kingdom.

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