Geelong captain Joel Selwood believes Mark O'Connor will continue to excel with the AFL club next season.
The Kerryman, who won All-Ireland minor titles in 2014 and 2015, had a breakthrough year in 2019, playing in 23 games.
"When he first stepped through the doors he just wanted to learn," Selwood told the Geelong club website.
"He wanted to work hard and he’s a great example that anything’s possible because he could have been turned around really quickly if he didn’t have that attitude.
"He wanted to be ready, he came over here to play AFL footy and he’s not wasting any of his time.
"It’s pretty crazy to think that you could take him out of the game he was playing, he hadn’t kicked the footy much.
"We put him out on a wing to start because of the running power more than anything, but then we realised that actually, this kid is really hard to play against. You might not get a kick on him if you put him close enough.
"He can win the ball and turn it back the other way, having the game in front of him, he’s just such a power athlete, huge runner and gives us so much help down that backline.
"He’s only been kicking the ball around for three years and he’s taken his game to just an unbelievable level already.
"He’s going to take his game to the next level in 2020 and then on from that. He’s going to be a special player for Geelong footy club."
The 22-year-old signed for Geelong in late 2016 and made his debut the following year. During the summer, he signed a new deal which runs until 2022.
"His innate ability to evade tackle (is impressive)," said Geelong vice-captain Patrick Dangerfield.
"He can turn really, really quickly and we’ve seen that at AFL level where he’s running one way and he’ll turn on his left foot and he’s got a beautiful left foot for someone who’s been playing the game for such a short period of time.
"He’s just so determined to want to be best the best version of himself that he possibly can be. His rise has been quite astonishing with how he’s cemented his place in our back six."
Picture credit: Sportsfile