Conor McKenna joins Aussie Rules club Essendon

Conor McKenna impressed several clubs in AFL trials
Conor McKenna impressed several clubs in AFL trials

Former Tyrone minor player Conor McKenna has signed for Aussie Rules club Essendon.

The talented teenager from the village of Eglish near Dungannon had attracted the interest of several AFL clubs.

On Friday, it was announced McKenna had agreed a two-year contract as a rookie with Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne.

"It is difficult to leave my family and friends but it is my ambition to be a full-time athlete. I feel comfortable with Essendon," said McKenna.

Conor McKenna of Tyrone celebrates scoring his side's first goal in the 2013 All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final win over Roscommon
Conor McKenna of Tyrone celebrates scoring his side's first goal in the 2013 All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final win over Roscommon

Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro believed 18-year-old McKenna had a bright future in the Australian game.

"He has exceptional speed and endurance and he has a strong desire to become a professional footballer," Dodoro said on the club's website.

"We really feel that Conor has the attributes to become a successful AFL player."

Last summer Tyrone Minors star McKenna was promoted to Mickey Harte's senior panel with the county's management hoping the elevation would persuade him to stay in GAA.

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