• Home
  • /
  • GAA
  • /
  • Three Aussie Rules Clubs Chasing One Of Kerry Football's Brightest Prospects

Three Aussie Rules Clubs Chasing One Of Kerry Football's Brightest Prospects

Three Aussie Rules Clubs Chasing One Of Kerry Football's Brightest Prospects
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
Share this article

One of Kerry football's brightest prospects - Mark O'Connor from Dingle - recently headed to Melbourne to participate in the NAB AFL draft combine. It appears to have been a successful trip for the 19-year-old.

O'Connor trialed at five clubs. The AFL's website today reports that three of those clubs - Geelong, North Melbourne and Melbourne - are interested in acquiring his services.

During the 3km time trial at the combine, O'Connor finished fourth overall.


Speaking to AFL.com.au, O'Connor said that a career in Aussie Rules is definitely something that he wants.

I do want to pursue an AFL career. It's definitely something I want to do. It's hard work but it's just so rewarding.

At home it's all amateur sport and there's no professionals in the game at all. To be able to spend all of my time trying to improve my game is something that I'd like.

I'll go back home and talk to my parents and talk things through and see what's on the table.

O'Connor was a key part of Jack O'Connor's Kerry minor teams which won All-Irelands in both 2014 and 2015. He has also won Hogan Cups with Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne. In 2016, he played U21 football under his former minor manager.

Earlier this year, Kerry All-Ireland winner and former Sydney Swan Tadhg Kennelly, who works in international development for the AFL, invited O'Connor to a combine in Ireland.

What I've learned over the past few weeks is everything happens quickly in the AFL. Only a couple of months ago Tadhg Kennelly invited me to the combine held in Ireland and I had played a lot of Gaelic football growing up.

There's a few Irish guys out here now and they've opened the door for me to come through the system. I went to the combine in Ireland and Tadhg was interested in bringing me out to see how I'd go against these guys.

In order to prevent the acquisition of bad habits, O'Connor did not start kicking an Aussie Rules football until he arrived in Australia. Despite only having a short period to acquaint himself with the ball, recruiters were impressed with his kicking along with his ability to catch over his head.

I looked at all the videos on YouTube about how to kick a footy and that's great, but you need someone next to you and I had absolutely no experience with the ball.

I also didn't want to get into any bad habits with my kicking so I waited until I got to Australia before I started to kick the ball, and Tadhg took me for a couple of sessions. I felt more comfortable then under his watchful eye.

Picture credit: Eoin Noonan / SPORTSFILE

See Also: Joe Brolly Rubbishes Rob Hennelly Statement After The All-Ireland As 'Heartwarming PR Exercise'




Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com