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Conor McKenna returns to AFL with Brisbane Lions

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The Brisbane Lions have signed Conor McKenna ahead of the 2023 season, with the Irishman joining the Club on a one-year deal.

McKenna, who played 79 games for Essendon between 2015 and 2020, returns to the AFL after spending the past two seasons playing Gaelic football in Ireland.

The 26-year-old nominated the Brisbane Lions as his preferred Club and will join the Lions through the pre-season Supplemental Selection Period, as he looks to re-ignite his AFL career.

General Manager Football, Danny Daly, said the Club was thrilled to have McKenna become a Brisbane Lion.

“We see Conor being a player who further improves our list, particularly as he adds both run and speed,” he said.

“He showed in his time at Essendon that one of his strengths is that he can play at both ends of the ground, and he can also win plenty of the ball.

“We look forward to Conor putting in a solid pre-season and helping us go that next step in 2023.”

McKenna became known for his dashing run in his time with Essendon, where he led the league for total running bounces (79) in 2019.

The Brisbane Lions are eager for McKenna to bring that trait to the Club, and the attacking-defender is equally excited about wearing maroon, blue and gold.

“I am delighted to be joining the Lions at such an exciting time for the Club, both on field and off field, including the great new facilities at Springfield,” McKenna said.

“I wanted to come back to a Club that was playing deep into finals pushing for a premiership and Brisbane have been doing that for the last number of years.

“The Club has been great for both myself and my partner Amy in making us feel comfortable and putting foundations in place to make sure the move out goes as smooth as possible.

“I am really looking forward to getting back out and into the swing of things.”

McKenna will commence Brisbane Lions pre-season training on December 5.