#45 Conor McKenna - 3 Weeks to Chew it Over


#3164

Still no highlights


#3165

Will be a great player and as mentioned, 4 year deal indicates serious interest from rivals. A safe bet for the club- is a unique talent with a stratospheric trajectory.


#3166

Ross is nowhere near a gun - he is a solid, honest, one pace “mid” that is more inside than outside.

Just like Dom Tyson at the Demons - whom McKenna played on in Q4 in the Demons loss (on the wing) and took to the cleaners, regularly burning him off and setting up 3 last quarter goals for us.

I would have McKenna over the likes of Ross & Tyson, in a heartbeat.


#3167

Conor in the midfield mix next year will be exquisite.


#3168

We’re running out of hbf’ers…


#3169

Don’t fret. Jackets is onto it.


#3170

FFS highlights? FFS


#3171

I don’ think they exist. There’s nothing on Youtube. You’ll have to wait til next year when he really explodes.


#3172

This is an utter disgrace. Ripping goals, searing runs, precision kicking at high speed.

Possibly my favourite for the year was when he pick pocketed that port bloke on the wing from behind and then just took off on him and went deep to hooker who kicked the goal. Made the port guy look like an absolute goose


#3173

pelican… He made the Port guy look like an absolute pelican.


#3174

Oops, lol


#3175

I remember doing that once playing Phillip Island.

I was running along right beside the bloke and he took a bounce, and I just pushed him out of the way and recieved it as it came up, then took off in the direction of our goals.

I remember the ahh’s and ooohh’s from the crowd, and everyone on our Coaches bench rising as one, and stepping forward toward the boundary line, the coach with arm’s raised.

I was so flummoxed at how it had happened, and distracted by the noise and the sight of the coaches, that after an excited bounce or two, promptly kicked it straight out on the full, … the ball passing almost directly over said Coaches box.

I’ll never forget how they stopped clapping and watched it sail over their heads with their mouths open. lol.

From hero to Zero in all of 10 fkn seconds.

The story still gets a run 20 plus years later everytime I catch up with the old team mates, … as it did last Sunday during celebrations after Inverloch Kongwak demolished Cora Lynn by 95 points * in the local GF.

Good work I’s !!

, * Country footy is really struggling of late …


#3176

Conor is back home recruiting some new fans and potential international rookies in years to come.


#3177

They spelt bomber wrong


#3178

A video with Conor and Saad in it at the same time is awesome but doesn’t count bomber tv


#3179

If Conor gets homesick, we now have a bit of coverage.


#3180

With McKenna and Saad running out of the backline next year, will have to watch the game on TV in slow motion to clearly see what is happening.


#3181

Conor’s getting a bit of press over in Ireland.

An article from the Irish Mirror:

Gaelic football going the way of AFL and not for the better, says Conor McKenna

The Essendon footballer is one of three AFL-based Irish players, who will be part of Joe Kernan’s International Rules squad for the November series against Australia

Pat Nolan
00:00, 28 SEP 2017
SPORT


Conor McKenna

Gaelic football is going the way of Aussie rules in some respects and not for the better, says Conor McKenna.

The Essendon footballer is one of three AFL-based Irish players, along with Zach Tuohy (Geelong) and Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast), who will be part of Joe Kernan’s International Rules squad for the November series against Australia and, naturally, is better placed than most to make comparisons between the code he now plays and the one he left behind.

“It’s more tactical,” he says of Australian rules. “If the ball goes this way then you have to run that way, it’s all structured out.

“There’s actually a formula you have to follow. It’s probably the one thing I struggled with but that’s the way Gaelic is going now too.”

Conor McKenna in action for the Essendon Bombers in August 27, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia (Image: (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images))

McKenna only left Ireland for Australia three years ago but has noted quite a shift in tactics in Gaelic football in that period.

“Gaelic has changed a lot. The year I left it was better. It’s getting like that, there’s all structures and sweepers coming back.

“I hope it doesn’t go too much in that direction.”

Off the field, the turnover of players from year to year compared to back home is something McKenna found somewhat difficult to adjust to.

“If they don’t want you, they’ll just cut you but I suppose that’s the way they have to be because there are normally about six or seven players leave at the end of the year or get delisted.

“Most teams probably draft in between five and eight players every year, so if you are drafting eight players then eight players have to go.

“That’s the shock. You are getting friendly with someone and the next thing they are gone to a different club and new boys come in.

“That’s the difference with Gaelic, because you play with the same boys for most of your life.”


#3182

And here is another from the Irish Mirror where he reflects on his experience playing AFL and his future plans:

Conor McKenna lighting up AFL but still holds Red Hand dream

McKenna is one of a dozen or so Irish players on the books of Australian Football League clubs and is among the standout exports

Pat Nolan
00:00, 28 SEP 2017UPDATED11:47, 28 SEP 2017
SPORT

Conor McKenna’s AFL career continues to go from strength to strength - but the dream of a Red Hand on his chest still burns.

McKenna is one of a dozen or so Irish players on the books of Australian Football League clubs and is among the standout exports, having made his full Essendon debut within a year of signing for the club.

He has since gone on to become a regular and has just signed a new four-year contract with the club.

The 21-year-old explained: “I started last year more than the first year and it gets a bit easier when you get used to the lifestyle, just being away from your family and friends, rather than the game itself you know.

“I said I would never leave unless I played one game. That’s what was going on in my head for that.

“Probably surprised myself a bit this year,” he admitted. “I give myself a target of maybe 10 games this year and I’ve played 19 so I would say better than what I thought, but sure I always had a bit of belief in myself, it was to try and get a bit of consistency.

Conor McKenna (Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan)

“Just to know that you are there for the right reasons in the back of your head. When you are playing AFL that’s what you are there for.”

McKenna is the exception to the rule in that most Irish recruits return home without breaking into the first team but he wouldn’t hesitate in telling someone to take on the challenge.

“The reason I wanted to go is if I didn’t go I would probably regret it for the rest of my life I’d say.

“I said if I went, and went at it for a year, and hated it, I’d come home, but at least I wanted to try it. I am happy out at the minute.

“If any young fella asked me should he go, I’d tell him, ‘Go.’

“I suppose that’s my opinion. Just, it’s a professional sport, you can devote your whole life to it, whereas with Gaelic you are working, you are playing for your club, you are playing for your county.

“It is a bit crazy. The training that some of them county teams are doing is up there with the training we are doing, and we are professional athletes as they say.

“It’s just the professionalism. It’s unbelievable.”

Missing out on Tyrone’s All-Ireland under-21 success two years ago was difficult to swallow, he says, but he plans on emulating the likes of Marty Clarke and Tadhg Kennelly in returning home to play for the senior team.

“Ah yeah, at some stage I do hope to come home and play for my club and my county.

“At the minute I am happy there and I’ll see after four years what happens. I’ll stay for as long as I can, I think.

“I haven’t really thought about it too much. I know in my head that I do want at some stage to come home and play for Tyrone and give it a crack.

“But, whether that is come home and stay and play for three or four years or go home, play one year and go back out, I don’t know.

“Definitely it’s in the back of my head.”

In case you are wondering what the Red Hand dream is:

You will see this logo on Conor’s white GAA Tyrone jersey above. Their nickname is the Red Hands.


#3183

An away version of the Tyrone GAA Jersey around the time he was recruited by Essendon.

The colours aren’t too bad.