McKenna returns to boost Bombers

17 May 2020 18:23:01 GMTPlus10

Irish speedster Conor McKenna is back in Melbourne ready to head into training with Essendon.

McKenna is one of three Bombers - along with Ross McQuillan and Cian McBride - who have been back in Ireland.

Former Galic footballer McKenna missed the opening round after his pre-season was interrupted when he returned to Ireland temporarily because of homesickness.

He has been training, and the Bombers will hope he can contend for a spot in the next few rounds.

McKenna, who finished fourth in the club's best and fairest last season, remains a key player at Essendon with coach John Worsfold flagging after their opening-round win over the Dockers that they would need him in defence.

"We need Conor. We feel he is more likely to be needed as a defender for us at the moment but that could change," said the coach.

McKenna played a starring role in Tyrone's run to the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Final in 2012, and the following year he attracted interest from several AFL clubs when he was spotted at a talent combine in Ireland.

The Bombers secured him to a two-year deal as a Category B rookie, and handed him his AFL debut against Richmond at the MCG in round 22, 2015.

The 24-year-old, who kicked a goal with his first kick, re-signed with Essendon at the end of 2017 on a new four-year contract.

His future remains uncertain, though, as he spoke in Ireland of his desire to return to play Gaelic football.

"I will be home in the next few years; whether it's this year or next year I'm just not sure at the minute," said McKenna. "It's been five-and-a-half years now and I always think about the opportunity to come back."

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