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Mark Keane will make his AFL debut on Sunday when he lines out for Collingwood in their round nine clash with Fremantle.

The former Cork minor and U-20 star headed Down Under in 2018 and has quickly progressed through the ranks of Collingwood.

mark keane


Now, Keane makes his first senior AFL appearance as Collingwood look to bounce back after last week’s defeat to the West Coast Eagles. The club currently lie in ninth place in the AFL standings however they are only four points off third position.

Head coach Nathan Buckley urged the Mitchelstown man to express himself when informing Keane of his debut selection at Friday’s team meeting.

mark keane

“We do have a first-gamer, all the way from the Emerald Isle. He’s worked hard for this. ‘Irish’ well done buddy.

“You’ve had a few ups and downs. You were in really good form last year. This (pandemic) situation threw things up in the air a little bit but we need your aerial (ability), we need your strength and we want you to just express yourself in the play, mate.”

Later, the 20-year-old rang home to break the news to his mother whose reaction evoked what could only be described as sheer joy.

Keane also sent a message to Mitchelstown to inform them that he was making his debut.

“Hello everyone back home. I’m playing my first game against the Fremantle Dockers this weekend.

“I’m sure Pa Magee will get you all going up and early and hopefully you’ll be able to watch it Sunday morning. Thank you.”

Keane signed for Collingwood in October 2018 along with Derry’s Anton Tohill after both were heavily linked with a move to the oval-ball code.

You can watch the Cork man’s debut on Sunday. The match kicks off at 9.10 am Irish time with live coverage on BT Sport 2.

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