Conor McKenna: Former Tyrone minor upsets AFL club by playing in Eglish game

McKenna in action for Essendon during the 2019 AFL season
McKenna in action for Essendon during the 2019 AFL season

Former Tyrone minor Conor McKenna could face punishment from his Australian Rules Football club after playing Gaelic football without permission.

McKenna, who plays for Essendon, turned out for hometown side Eglish while back in Tyrone during the AFL off-season.

McKenna did not notify Essendon that he was playing on Saturday and has drawn criticism from coach John Worsfold, who said he was 'really disappointed'.

"That was something that we weren't aware of," Worsfold told SEN Radio.

"We certainly didn't send him back there to play footy.

"I was really disappointed when I heard that. We know that he's passionate about his Gaelic footy, he's passionate about footy."

McKenna has impressed for Essendon since joining the Melbourne-based side in 2015, earning a new four-year contract in 2017.

However, Worsfold says he did not hear from McKenna prior to the 23-year-old's involvement in the Eglish game.

McKenna earned a new four-year contract with Essendon in 2017
McKenna earned a new four-year contract with Essendon in 2017

McKenna scored a second-half goal to help Eglish maintain their Division 1 status with a relegation play-off win over Edendork.

"When he gets back we will just talk through why it isn't appropriate and the risk that you are taking," said Worsfold.

"I've reflected on it and I won't speak to Conor until he gets back and I will be disappointed that he played and didn't feel like he could have rung and checked."

He added: "He's an energetic young man."

"His personality is so up and about. I can imagine them saying, 'Do you want to have a kick?'"

"It puts them [players] at risk of an injury, of doing something that's outside their contract. In effect, it puts them at high risk of costing themselves a contract or a lot of money if they get a serious injury."