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Wexford footballer signs Sydney Swans deal

Wexford footballer Barry O'Connor has signed a contract with the Sydney Swans.

The 20-year-old midfielder will join the Aussie Rules franchise in the autumn on a two-year international rookie deal.

O'Connor, from the St Martin's club, impressed during an AFL Combine in Dublin last November and a subsequent two-week trial in Sydney in April.

“Barry showed a lot of promise at an AFL Combine in Dublin and continued to impress in his two-week stint at the club earlier this year,” said Swans General Manager for Recruiting and List Strategy Kinnear Beatson.

“He’s consistently displayed strong athletic qualities for a 193-centimetre player, and he’s very skilled by hand and foot.

“Not only has he shown plenty of potential to develop skills that are transferrable between Gaelic football and Australian Rules Football, there is a lot to like about his ability to make the right decision under pressure, as demonstrated in a series of grid games at the AFL Combine in Dublin and while training with the Swans Academy.

“Barry is also a very hard worker and a great person to have around the group, so he’ll be a tremendous asset to the club come his arrival in late October or early November.

“His character, personality, and determination to succeed are very similar to fellow Irishman Colin O’Riordan, so it provides great confidence that he will give it everything he has in order to be successful.”

Tipperary-native O'Riodan has played eight senior matches since joining in November 2015.

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