Wexford's O'Connor signs for S...

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Wexford's O'Connor signs for Sydney Swans


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Wexford's Barry O'Connor is heading to the AFL after agreeing a two-year international rookie contract with the Sydney Swans. 

The St Martin's club man played for Wexford in their defeat to Louth in the Leinster Championship last month and will join Tipperary's Colin O’Riordan at the Swans.

The 20-year-old impressed during a two-week trial in Sydney in April after being spotted at the European Combine in Dublin last year.

O'Connor is hoping his previous experience playing rugby will help him adapt to the game in Australia.

"The catching and marking I should be comfortable with because I played rugby so the oval ball is not too unfamiliar. Hopefully I can pick up the different type of kicking and movement pretty quickly.

"I met Colin O'Riordan yesterday and was able to speak to him about the process of moving to Australia and I hope to learn from Tadhg Kennelly."

The Swans General Manager Kinnear Beatson feels the Wexford man did enough to earn a contract with the five-time Premiership champions.

“Barry showed a lot of promise at an AFL Combine in Dublin and continued to impress in his two-week stint at the club earlier this year.

“He’s consistently displayed strong athletic qualities for a 193-centimetre player, and he’s very skilled by hand and foot. Not only has he shown plenty of potential to develop skills that are transferrable between Gaelic football and Australian Rules Football, there is a lot to like about his ability to make the right decision under pressure, as demonstrated in a series of grid games at the AFL Combine in Dublin and while training with the Swans Academy.

“Barry is also a very hard worker and a great person to have around the group, so he’ll be a tremendous asset to the club come his arrival in late October or early November. His character, personality, and determination to succeed are very similar to fellow Irishman Colin O’Riordan, so it provides great confidence that he will give it everything he has in order to be successful.”

 

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