ESSENDON speedster Conor McKenna has revealed he will quit AFL and return home to Ireland "in the next few years".
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Currently back home with family during the AFL shutdown, McKenna maintains his dream of winning Gaelic football titles which could see him break his contract with the Bombers for 2021.
The 24-year-old jetted home during February, only to return to Australia for a handful of weeks before the season was put on hold.
McKenna is still planning to resume with the Bombers in 2020 but has placed doubt on his AFL career beyond that.
"I will be home in the next few years," McKenna told the BBC overnight.
"Whether it's this year or next year I'm just not sure at the minute.
"It's been five-and-a-half years now and I always think about the opportunity to come back."
McKenna said his initial hopes would be to play for his town of Eglish before considering higher ambitions with County Tyrone.
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"I didn't grow up dreaming of playing AFL. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity at the minute, but I did grow up dreaming of playing for Tyrone, win Ulsters, win All-Irelands," he said.
After a promising junior career with Tyrone, McKenna knocked back the opportunity to join the county's senior squad in order to start his career at Essendon in 2014.
He debuted for the Bombers in 2015 and has played 73 games which included an impressive 2019 campaign where he finished fourth in the club's best and fairest.
McKenna failed to play a Marsh Community Series match this pre-season but did join the Bombers' VFL side for a practice match in Colac, switching between attack and defence.
He was overlooked for AFL selection in round one, prompting coach John Worsfold to reveal post-match the tussle between McKenna's interest to play forward and the club's wish for him to play as a defender.
Worsfold said he was epecting McKenna to return later this year when speaking on Wednesday.
"I'm pretty confident. It's not the end of 2020 yet. There's a lot of footy left to be played hopefully this season. I think Conor was up and ready to go," he said.
"My expectation is that he's really keen and he'll be over there (Ireland) following a training program and looking forward to getting back over here and getting into it."
McKenna penned a four-year deal with Essendon in 2017 until the end of 2021.