Collingwood’s Mark Keane has become an instant hero back home in Ireland, winning a Gaelic football final with the last kick of the game in his debut.
The 20-year-old, who made his AFL debut back in Round 9 this past season against Fremantle, returned home six weeks ago.
After seeking permission from the Magpies, Keane was named to play for Cork in the Munster semi-final against Kerry, with his side serious underdogs.
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Kerry is the most successful team in the sport’s history, winning the All-Ireland title 37 times.
Swans premiership player Tadhg Kennelly returned home mid-career and won the 2009 All-Ireland with them, while ex-St Kilda and Swans player Tommy Walsh currently features in the side.
Making matters even worse, Cork had not beaten Kerry in eight years.
With Cork trailing 0-13 to 0-12 in the final seconds of extra time, it appeared all over, before Keane gathered possession just in front of goal and put it past the goalkeeper.
“It’s funny the way things work but I suppose we had no hesitation in bringing him in but Mark has huge interest in Cork football. He’s played underage all the way up and even when he’s been away he’s been interested in the team and stays in touch with us and the minute he was back he wanted to play,” Cork coach Ronan McCarthy said after the game.
“We brought him in and it was evident to me he was going to be an addition to us and the way it worked out today was great. The first thing is the player wants to play, that’s the first thing, and then the second thing is that we did our business properly with Collingwood.
“We sought permission from them for him to play and they gave it to us and we’re very grateful for it but ultimately, Mark has a huge interest in Cork football.
“I think he’s back about six weeks but obviously he needed to self-isolate when he was back. He’s back about six weeks. He’s back nearly as long as we’re back but obviously he couldn’t train with us the first couple of weeks.
“I suppose the goal at the end even shows, and I think it was Tommy Walsh actually inside under him as well, he’s a great target for long balls. He’s a good passer of the ball. He’s a great target man, great physical presence and, look, he has just added to the quality and depth to the group.”
The result was so remarkable, it saw Irish media drawing comparisons to a famous 1983 game in which Cork also upset Kerry.
One outlet said it was the stuff of “boyhood dreams”.