GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
AFL star Conor McKenna returns to Ireland
Last Updated: 11/02/20 2:55pm
Australian Rules star Conor McKenna has returned to Ireland, 'due to homesickness and family-related reasons'.
The Tyrone native's departure was confirmed by his AFL club Essendon Bombers on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old moved to Australia in 2014 to pursue a professional sports career, having starred as one of the Red Hands' brightest talents when they reached the All-Ireland minor final in 2013.
His departure was seen as a significant setback to football in the county.
"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," said Essendon manager Dan Richardson in a statement, announcing the news.
"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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It remains unclear if he will reignite his Gaelic football career upon his return.
However, it would come as a significant boost to Tyrone if he were to join up with Mickey Harte's squad, after Cathal McShane turned down the advances of the Adelaide Crows in recent weeks.