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New contract for Kerry native as he signs up with AFL club Geelong until end of 2022 season

Mark O’Connor has made a bright start to the 2019 season with Geelong.

Mark O'Connor in action in the Round 9 victory over Western Bulldogs.
Mark O'Connor in action in the Round 9 victory over Western Bulldogs.
Image: AAP/PA Images

DINGLE NATIVE MARK O’Connor has been rewarded for his promising start to the 2019 AFL season as he has signed a contract extension with his club Geelong.

The 2015 Kerry All-Ireland minor winning captain has agreed to a new deal which sees him commit his future to the club until the end of the 2022 season.

The new contracts for O’Connor and his team-mate Gryan Miers were both announced by Geelong today.

“Mark and Gryan have both shown substantial improvement in their development and have been key contributors for us this season,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.

“Both players in their formative years have set high standards in their preparation and professionalism which has flowed into their on-field performances. We believe they will continue to grow as players and are excited to have come to agreements regarding their future in the blue and white hoops.”

22-year-old O’Connor first signed for Geelong in October 2016 after impressing at the AFL Draft Combine and made his full AFL debut for the club in May 2017.

Before the start of this season he had only seven AFL appearances to his name but has made a major breakthrough since the 2019 campaign began, featuring in all 11 of Geelong’s games to date. They are currently top of the AFL ladder, claiming a 85-63 victory over Sydney Swans last Saturday and set to face Richmond Tigers on Friday.

A two-time All-Ireland minor and Hogan Cup winner, O’Connor was regarded as one of Kerry’s brightest young prospects before making his move to Australia.

Speaking to The42 recently, O’Connor outlined how he has started to make a greater impact in AFL.

“It was mainly just a confidence thing at the start. Coming over I didn’t have much experience so I didn’t want to leave my team-mates down and I was probably thinking about things too much.

“With the help of people around me, we just managed to change my perspective on it and just go out and play and enjoy myself. I think I’m really reaping the rewards.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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