Free Agency Conor McKenna - comes out of retirement to join Brisbane Lions

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Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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Essendon
I still don't likenit TBH. Someone could have a 5 year deal front ended, "retire" after 1 year with a negotiated payout, sit out 12m, then play for someone else the next year while the club gets nothing.

I think if they come out of "retirement" they should go back onto their contract remaining at the original club.
A pay-out like that would be off-set by returning to any job in the AFL. You wouldn't get the pay out and the full wages from a new club. Same as Clarkson when Hawthorn paid him out, and he couldn't get back into coaching for a year or he'd lose his pay-out. And in any case I'm pretty sure if you retire or delist yourself then you forfeit the money owing. You get a pay out as compensation if the club terminates the contract.

I think it's fine. Whatever risk a club wants to take with front-ending a contract is a risk they've elected to take because it suits the club as well, not just the player.

In this particular circumstance we got McKenna for nothing at a Category B rookie at the end of 2014. He served the club for six years, went back to Ireland in extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic. Easy come, easy go, I guess. If he now decided to have a second career that's up to him.

It'd be nice to come back to Essendon, he still has friends here. Pretty sure he left his car in the club carpark when he left too, and he did say he might come back to AFL one day, he was joking around on an Irish sport program that he might come in via the mid-season draft, which was new at the time. Although I don't think he quite realised how the draft works, since he was never drafted himself. On top of that he's known to get a bit homesick and spends the off-seasons back in Ireland, so setting himself up in a completely new environment doesn't seem like it would be that attractive for him particularly. And if it's money he wants we have plenty :ninjav1:

But if not that, and with where the club is at and if he wants a premiership, and the stupid amount of scrutiny on him in early 2020 when he had a false positive covid test and Tom Browne decided to stalk him at training and hyper-analyse him spitting on the grass on the 6pm news for like three days in a row – I could see him potentially trying somewhere else on that basis.

If he were to go somewhere else, I know the Melbourne-based Irish players tended to have semi-regular get togethers, or at least they did when McKenna was at Essendon, so he has a few links to e.g. Zach Tuohy. I'd guess if he did go somewhere else it'd be where he already knows someone, probably in Victoria although I suppose he technically knows Daniher and Fantasia too. I don't recall them being particularly close, but what would we really know? Brisbane probably the more attractive option for interstate clubs atm.
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 2, 2004
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Buckley is right "buyer beware"

Connor can't pick and choose when to play footy if he's coming back he has to be committed 100% and see out his career none of this home sickness stuff
Buyer beware is right.

Fellow irishman, Marty Clarke show promise in his first Collingwood stint and established himself as AFL regular. Got homesick and came back to AFL after 3 years away and was never the same player. His 2nd stint lasted two years toiling mainly in VFL before being delisted.
 

Saucery

Club Legend
Mar 20, 2016
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Guessing he's woken up to the fact he has a limited window to make hay, the UK economy is in free fall and at 26? he might be mature enough to see his value as an elite athlete is passing. Poverty is a great motivator.
 

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FFB1

Premiership Player
Feb 25, 2007
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I would take him back in a heartbeat.

If he went elsewhere I’d try to get compo from the league. Massively unfair we lost him for nothing.

Bit of Mal Michael about it, this time not in Essendon’s favour.
 

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TheBrownDog
Sep 2, 2008
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Not fussed that he dosen't want to return to Essendon good luck to him who ever gets him.

People forget he was poor in his final year at Essendon and has now missed two years of footy every chance he won't be that same player again.

Imo he's coming back for the money and nothing else.
 

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TheBrownDog
Sep 2, 2008
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Guessing he's woken up to the fact he has a limited window to make hay, the UK economy is in free fall and at 26? he might be mature enough to see his value as an elite athlete is passing. Poverty is a great motivator.
He'll make a decent pay packet then probaly * off back to Ireland mid contract claiming "'home sickness" haha
 

Yoda_

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He'll make a decent pay packet then probaly * off back to Ireland mid contract claiming "'home sickness" haha
Bit of Marty Clarke (former Collingwood player) about this current situation.

Admittedly McKenna may be a better player but Clarke went home for a couple of years then tried to return and was no where near the same player prior to leaving.
 

Saucery

Club Legend
Mar 20, 2016
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A lot of salty Donnuts here, I understand you're sick of being left at the alter.
 
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Ants

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He left at the end of 2020 with a year to go on his contract, which would’ve expired end of 2021.

As with other players who have retired and then returned to footy after 12 months out of the game, he will be eligible to sign with any club he wants during the preseason signing period. Examples include Shane Mumford and Zac Clarke.

We would only be able to trade him after retiring if he was still on our list - such as when Hodge retired and then Hawthorn had to trade him because he was bound to them until the conclusion of the draft, and he’d lost his FA rights by submitting retirement paperwork. I think Carlton is in the same boat with Jones, because it’s in the same cycle.

So McKenna is not bound to Essendon, we can’t trade him, we get nothing for him, and he can sign with any club he likes (including Essendon) during the supplemental selection period, which would make him a Category A rookie.

He’s not eligible as a Category B rookie because of the alternate pathway rules. He’s played footy too recently.

As a mature age player he could also go in the draft and name his price, but that would be a bit daft when he can choose where he goes via the SSP.
I agree that is all technically correct. But I think EFC should still make a request for compensation if he goes elsewhere. There's been plenty of special rules put in place during COVID that have benefited many teams. Carlton may get compensation in a similar situation.

At the end of the day, if you don't ask, you don't get. Would cost us nothing to put the case to the AFL.
 

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PattyKwasagun

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 18, 2011
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Bumping this one again following these comments:



Geelong seemed the most widely tipped to secure him publicly (not wanting to be in the Melbourne bubble but having some interest in returning to Victoria), so this sounds like a curveball. Wonder where else he might be headed.

He was linked to us earlier in the year at one stage, as well as a few years ago as a potential trade option. Would be phenomenal if we could find a way to get him alongside Gunston & Dunkley. Reckon McKenna might end up being one of the biggest off-season recruits for whichever club gets him.
 

CakeEater

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2011
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We will take him at the Dockers.

Him-TIppa and Dyson Heppell (Mascot) and we will be unstoppabble
 

Johnny Bananas

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Sep 10, 2010
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Guessing he's woken up to the fact he has a limited window to make hay, the UK economy is in free fall and at 26? he might be mature enough to see his value as an elite athlete is passing. Poverty is a great motivator.
What does the UK economy being in free fall have to do with someone from Ireland?
 

eth-dog

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I think I read somewhere that he wanted to come back to Victoria
 

CakeEater

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2011
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at some point you plan on paying for one of our players yeah?

or do we still owe you for Lloyd and Lucas?
We are happy to do a job share for Heppell, we are only using him as our Gameday mascot.

Yes you still owe us for Lloyd and Lucas.

But we do think its offset by you giving us your best CHF of the past 15 years for nothing, Keplarrrrrrrrr!
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
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We are happy to do a job share for Heppell, we are only using him as our Gameday mascot.

Yes you still owe us for Lloyd and Lucas.

But we do think its offset by you giving us your best CHF of the past 15 years for nothing, Keplarrrrrrrrr!
I'd have thought it evens by then
though we did lump you with Colyer too.
 

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