- Premier League | Analysing the top-four race - July 5, 2020
- GAA | Shane Dowling retires from inter-county hurling - July 2, 2020
- Part Two | Ranking every Premier League team’s return to action - June 28, 2020
Essendon star Conor McKenna has tested positive for the coronavirus, with the Bombers’ AFL clash against Melbourne on Sunday being postponed as a result.
All of Essendon’s players and staff have returned negative tests in the aftermath of McKenna’s diagnosis, and all the AFL’s other clubs will compete as normal this weekend.
“Other matches this weekend will proceed,” an AFL statement read.
“The AFL will provide support for Conor and those around him. The priority is the health of players, staff and the community. All Essendon players and staff were tested again last night, and no other positive tests were returned.”
According to reports in Australia, the former Tyrone minor could also be facing a lengthy ban for breaching the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols by visiting family and friends before his diagnosis.
“Conor McKenna could be suspended for the foreseeable future for sparking the COVID breach that has of course plunged the AFL season into peril again,” Herald Sun journalist Jon Ralph told Fox Footy’s Sunday Ticket.
“Essendon and the AFL and the health department are currently working as we speak to see how many players will be quarantined alongside him.
“The details of his breach have been revealed, he has confirmed that he did attend an open house viewing, his lease was up for his house so he looked at another house. Then he effectively went to visit family and friends, the host parents who effectively bordered him when he came across from Ireland.
“He did that despite the explicit warnings that this was a COVID breach, despite the explicit warnings that Essendon had handed their players after Brandon Zerk-Thatcher was suspended for a COVID breach last week.”
McKenna has been a key defender for the Bombers since making his AFL debut in 2015, racking up 73 matches for the Melbourne club.
The defender’s future in the AFL was in doubt earlier this year when he returned to Eglish due to homesickness, but the 24-year-old eventually rejoined his Essendon teammates ahead of the 2020 season.
Essendon are due to face Carlton on June 27th and Collingwood on July 3rd.