Big boost for Rebels as Keane confirms AFL departure

January 14, 2022

Cork's Mark Keane celebrates. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

Cork’s Mark Keane says he has “taken the right” decision to stay in Ireland and depart his AFL club Collingwood.

News broke yesterday that the 21-year-old would not be returning to Australia and last night Collingwood confirmed it.

“Although a tough call, I know remaining in Ireland and being with my family is the right decision for me at this time,” Keane said in a statement released by the club.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Pies, and I thank the club for giving me the opportunity to play AFL football.

“The club has greatly supported me for the duration of my stay in Australia and I will always appreciate that.”

Keane, who had one year left on his current contract with the Melbourne club, has now linked up with Cork hurlers for their 2022 campaign and is named on the Leesiders' bench for tonight's Canon O’Brien Cup game against UCC. 

Collingwood’s General Manager of football, Graham Wright thanked the Rebel County star for his contribution.

“We thank Mark for his contribution to the program over the past three years,” Wright said.

“Unfortunately, Mark has suffered from homesickness his entire time at Collingwood. He went home early in August prior to the season finishing and returned after training had started in November.

“Mark didn’t return for training in the New Year and we decided, along with Mark, that the rigours of AFL football combined with being away from home are too much for him at this time.

“We wish Mark all the best with his future endeavours and hope being home in Ireland is exactly what he needs.”

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