Three AFL stars flying home to...


Three AFL stars flying home to Ireland after league shutdown

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Three more Irish Aussie Rules stars have decided to fly home while one more is considering his options following the AFL's decision to go into shutdown.

Collingwood duo Mark Keane and Anton Tohill (main pic) are flying home on Monday night according to a report on this afternoon.

The 2020 AFL season has been suspended until at least May 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic which has seen most sports around the world come to a halt.

Cork native Keane was tipped to make his first-team debut for the Melbourne giants this season after putting in some eye-catching performances during pre-season competition.

Essendon's Conor McKenna is also bound for home having just returned to Australia after he was granted a leave of absence to deal with a bout of homesickness.

The report adds that the 23-year-old former Tyrone minor footballer, who was primed to make a big impact in the AFL this season, may have played his last game for the Bombers.

Kilkenny native and St Kilda key prospece Darragh Joyce looks like he will stay put in Melbourne during the shutdown while Hawthorn's Conor Glass is undecided but may return home to Derry.

Following news of the AFL's decision to suspend the season, AFL players have accepted an immediate 50 per cent pay cut.

It is reported that the League's bosses wanted the pay cut to be larger but that AFL Players Association intervened and along with senior players, captains, and agents, agreed to a 50 per cent cut.

That now must be negotiated with the AFL.

Meanwhile the AFL Women's season was ended immediately, at the preliminary finals stage (last-four), so no Premiership Cup will be awarded.

AFL Players' Association CEO Paul Marsh released a statement to say that he understood the League's decision to suspend the AFL season and cancel the AFLW season.

"It was discussed with AFLW player delegates from all clubs last week as to their preferred finals structure and, after consultation, the majority view was to push to a top eight, knowing that there was a risk the competition might come to an early conclusion if the COVID-19 situation continued to intensify. Unfortunately, this is now the case," Marsh said. 

"We congratulate all AFLW players on their contribution to the 2020 season."

Last week Dublin duo Niamh McEvoy and Sinead Goldrick decided to leave for home instead of featuring for Melbourne Demons in the play-offs as more flights were being grounded over the coronavirus outbreak.

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Afl Anton Tohill Conor Glass Conor McKenna Darragh Joyce Mark Keane

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