Mark O'Connor. AAP/PA Images
Land down under

Kerry's O'Connor signs new contract with AFL side Geelong until 2024

The Dingle native has thrived since switching from Gaelic football to Aussie Rules.

KERRY’S MARK O’CONNOR has signed a new contract with Geelong, committing his future with the AFL club until the end of the 2024 season.

The Dingle native, a 2015 All-Ireland minor winning captain with Kerry, has made a major impression with Geelong since joining them in October 2016.

And the AFL side have today announced O’Connor has extended his time with the club, one of five players to commit to  new deals.

O’Connor was a superb prospect as an underage Gaelic footballer, winning two All-Ireland minor medals with Kerry in 2014 and 2015, while he enjoyed huge success with PS Chorca Dhuibhne as they claimed Hogan Cup glory.

During the Covid-19 interrupted season of 2020, he was set to join the Kerry senior squad as the winter championship coincided with his return to Ireland, but the Kingdom’s loss to Cork saw them make an early exit.

25-year-old O’Connor featured for Geelong in the AFL Grand Final in 2020 when they lost out to Richmond Tigers.

afl-giants-cats Mark O'Connor in action for Geelong in May against the GWS Giants. AAP / PA Images AAP / PA Images / PA Images

O’Connor has made 14 AFL appearances this season for Geelong and 79 in total during his career. Geelong are currently top of the AFL ladder with 13 wins from 17 games and are closing in on an appearance in the finals series in September.

O’Connor has signed a new contract along with team-mates Max Holmes, Ollie Dempsey, Shannon Neale and Toby Conway.

“It’s a fantastic sign that Max, Mark, Ollie, Shannon and Toby see their futures here at the Cats,” said Simon Lloyd, the Cats General Manager of Football.

“Max and Mark both have outstanding character and take ownership over driving our Club standards. They play influential roles within our senior team and are consistently striving to improve the Geelong Football Club.

“For Ollie, Shannon and Toby, while limited in their AFL experience so far, they have all shown strong signs at VFL level and we are excited to see them take the next step in their development.”

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