All-Ireland winner Conor McKenna is to return to Australia and resume his AFL career in a major blow to Tyrone.
It is understood McKenna, who joined Essendon as a teenager, has informed his Red Hand team-mates of his decision.
He returned to Ireland two years ago and immediately made his senior debut, and last season achieved his dream of winning an All-Ireland medal.
McKenna was a star of the Tyrone minor side that won the Ulster title in 2013, after which he opted to travel Down Under and pursue a career as a professional sportsman. But he had made no secret of the fact that he wanted to return and win an All-Ireland withTyrone.
He played a key role in Tyrone’s 2021 Sam Maguire Cup success, scoring two goals in the semi-final win over Kerry and setting up the clinching goal for Darren McCurry in the final against Mayo.
McKenna’s imminent departure is the latest in a series of forwards lost to Tyrone, following the decisions of Mark Bradley, Ronan O’Neill, Paul Donaghy and Lee Brennan to quit this year.