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Conor McKenna tests positive for coronavirus as AFL thrown in chaos

 

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Big star: Tyrone man Conor McKenna plays for Essendon Bombers

Big star: Tyrone man Conor McKenna plays for Essendon Bombers

via Getty Images

Big star: Tyrone man Conor McKenna plays for Essendon Bombers

Round three of the AFL has been thrown into chaos after Tyrone's Conor McKenna became the first player to test positive for coronavirus since the league started play.

The Essendon rising star had been due to take part in the game against Melbourne on Saturday night before the fixture was postponed following confirmation of the positive test.

The fixture change caused a knock-on effect, with the Gold Coast-Adelaide match moved to Sunday, while the Fremantle-Port Adelaide moved to later on Saturday night.

McKenna had returned five negative tests in a row before testing positive on Saturday. He was asymptomatic.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said that McKenna likely picked up the virus while travelling back to Australia from Ireland.

"All players and staff have been asked to isolate," McLachlan said.

"We said we would make all decisions based on medical advice and our priority is the health and safety of our staff, players and the community.

"The club will be closed and cleaned. We will test all players and staff in coming days, with advice from the health department.

"Our concern is with the player and we will provide support around him."

Earlier this year, Tyrone AAGAA were handed a potential boost as McKenna revealed that he plans to "be home permanently in the next few years".

"Whether it's this year or next year I'm just not sure at the minute," he added.

"I've always had the idea I'd like to return home to Eglish and, if good enough, for Tyrone. It's been five and a half years now and I always think about the opportunity to come back.

"I didn't grow up dreaming of playing AFL, I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity at the minute, but I did grow up dreaming of playing for Tyrone, winning Ulsters and winning All-Irelands.

"I want to play for Eglish first and see if I can kick the ball straight, then reassess from there."

Belfast Telegraph