McKenna stands by decision to play Gaelic football match

“That was the decision I made so I’ll go back and see what the consequences are.

“They know how much I miss home and how much Gaelic and home mean to me so I think they’ll be pretty understanding.

Essendon’s Conor McKenna defended his decision to play Gaelic football.Credit:Getty Images

“I’ll explain what the club has done for me and how I wouldn’t be in this position only for them and that I feel obligated to give something back to them.

“I’m not really sure what to expect but I’ll go back and whatever happens, happens.”


McKenna says he felt obliged to help his local club out, and pointed to other examples of Irish AFL players who went home to play Gaelic football in the off- season.

“The club is where you came from and that’s what brought you up and I wouldn’t really be in the position that I am in with the AFL unless it was for them and for the county.

“You feel like you owe them and I do owe them everything for what they have done for me.

“I came home before and sat there and watched them and it’s a very hard thing to do, so I came home and they had a relegation battle and I decided to play.

“To play for them [Eglish] for 18 years and then to go home and completely shut off, it’s difficult and that’s why so many Irish players like Zach Tuohy, Mark O’Connor and Tadhg Kennelly went home and played; it’s hard not to.”


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