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Underage Kerry star set to return to Ireland after stint with AFL club

Kerry star AFL

Former Kerry underage star Stefan Okunbor could soon line out for his county’s senior team after finishing up with the Geelong Cats in Australia.

Okunbor first joined Geelong back in 2018 after impressing for Kerry at U20 level, having been named as the Munster U20 player of the year for his efforts.

The Tralee native also won the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship in 2016, and played under incoming Kerry senior football manager Jack O’Connor during his time with the U20s.

Geelong announced Okunbor’s departure alongside the retirement of defender Lachie Henderson and wished the young Irishman the best with his future in Gaelic football.

Geelong announce Stefan Okunbor’s departure.

“Lachie has made a significant contribution since joining the club in 2016,” Geelongโ€™s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.

“He was a strong clubman and always focused on improving his teammates. Lachie could always be depended on and helped the club to the finals in each of his seasons with us.

“Stefan showed great desire and commitment to become a better player. He was limited by injury and the lack of games through the shutdown. He is now back in Ireland and we hope he can enjoy a successful Gaelic football career.

“Everyone at the club wishes Lachie and Stefan well in their future endeavours.”

Jack O’Connor will be glad to see the youngster back in the Kingdom.

Incoming Kerry manager Jack O’Connor will be delighted to see Okunbor return to his native county, as the veteran manager looks to bring the Sam Maguire trophy back to Kerry.

As stated in Geelong’s announcement, the youngster has struggled with injuries during his time in Australia having picked up an Achilles injury, but he certainly has plenty of promise.

Kerry have no shortage of young talent at the moment, but they failed to deliver in their three years under Peter Keane as manager, and haven’t won the All-Ireland since 2014.

Tyrone have benefitted massively from the return of Conor McKenna after his stint with Essendon in the AFL, winning an All-Ireland title. While Okunbor never reached the same heights as McKenna Down Under, O’Connor will be hoping he can have a similar impact.

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