Irishman Barry O’Connor has agreed to terms on a Sydney Swans contract and will begin his AFL journey at the start of the 2020 pre-season.
The 20-year-old Gaelic footballer is set to sign a two-year contract as an International Category B Rookie.
O’Connor, who hails from county Wexford in Ireland’s south-east, trialled at the Swans in a two-week stint in April.
The club’s latest signing comes on the back of his two-week stint at the Swans and an impressive showing at an AFL Europe Combine in Dublin last November.
Swans General Manager – Recruiting and List Strategy Kinnear Beatson said O’Connor was highly deserving of an AFL contract.
“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,” Beatson said.
“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.”
Sydney’s strength-and-conditioning team will set out a program for O’Connor in preparation for the beginning of his AFL journey.
O’Connor will join fellow Irishman Colin O’Riordan on the Swans’ list.
O’Riordan arrived at the club in November 2015 and, after making giant strides in the NEAFL over a period of three years, has played eight senior matches.