Collingwood rookie Mark Keane made the most of his Irish homecoming, booting a match-winner for Cork to send them into the Munster SFC grand final.
Keane has played only one game for the Magpies, his round nine debut against Fremantle this year after he was recruited as a category B rookie in 2018.
That was game was enough for commentators to refer to Keane as ‘the man from the AFL’ after the Magpies gave their approval for him to play for Cork with the season now over.
Keane’s moment of magic was a bitterly disappointing one for rival club Kerry, who watched as the Magpies hopeful perfectly judged a long bomb into Cork’s attack, hold off his opponent and wheeling around to slot the deciding score.
“It’s a goal! It’s a goal for Cork! That is amazing,” the frenzied commentators called.
“It’s the man who came to play — Mark Keane from the AFL, the Collingwood player!”
It wasn’t as simple as running straight onto the field for Keane, who returned to Ireland.
He missed a decent chunk of training time due to the requirement to complete two weeks of mandatory quarantine upon returning home, but clearly hit his stride in no time at all.
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) November 9, 2020
Cork coach Ronan McCarthy was thrilled by the result, and said he was appreciative of Collingwood allowing the 20-year-old to play after the game.
“It’s funny the way things work but I suppose we had no hesitation in bringing him in but Mark has huge interest in Cork football,” he said.
“He’s played underage all the way up and even when he’s been away he’s been interested in the team and stays in touch with us and the minute he was back he wanted to play.
“We brought him in and it was evident to me he was going to be an addition to us and the way it worked out today was great. The first thing is the player wants to play, that’s the first thing, and then the second thing is that we did our business properly with Collingwood.
“We sought permission from them for him to play and they gave it to us and we’re very grateful for it but ultimately, Mark has a huge interest in Cork football.”
Magpies blasted over AFL trade debacle
Collingwood can't seem to take a trick during the AFL trade period and Melbourne great Garry Lyon says the situation is fraught with danger for the club's staff.
Speculation about star player Adam Treloar's future has dominated debate around the Magpies, who are yet to make a deal with just two days left before Thursday’s trade deadline.
The messy situation has come about with the Magpies trying to manage their tight salary cap, with star forward-midfielder Jordan De Goey yet to re-sign with the club.
Lyon has slammed the haphazard approach by the Magpies and says it would make potential signings think twice about joining the club.
“Collingwood left, right and centre are going back to players and saying ‘yeah we mucked up your contract, give us some money back or we’ll have to move you on’,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
“That’s essentially what they’re doing. And then in the midst of that they’re making a play for Jack Gunston?
“Why would Jack Gunston go to Collingwood when they’re signing blokes and then a year later they’re going ‘give us your money back and move on’?
“That’s not the time to go and chase someone. If you’re Jack Gunston, you’d go ‘I beg your pardon, you’ve made a contract offer to me, one like you did with Adam Treloar? Is that what I’m looking at in a couple of years’ time?’”
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