Former Collingwood Magpies defender Mark Keane is returning to the AFL, signing a one-year deal with the Adelaide Crows

The Adelaide Crows have signed ex-Collingwood Magpies defenseman Mark Keane on a year, completing their roster for the upcoming AFL season.

The Irishman, who was recruited during the pre-season signing period, is expected to train with his new team-mates in the coming weeks.

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Keane, 22, returns to Australia to continue his AFL career after playing five games in three years for the Magpies from 2019-2021.

He was signed at Collingwood for 2022 but decided to stay in Ireland for the last 12 months after suffering from homesickness.

Adelaide general list manager Justin Reid said Keane, who has also played top-level hurling and Gaelic football in Ireland, would help bolster the team’s defensive stocks.

“We are delighted that Mark has decided to return to Australia and has committed to continue his AFL career with us,” Reid said.

“We understand the travel and quarantine challenges he faced during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, but thankfully a lot has changed in this area since then.

Mark Keane in action for the Magpies in 2021. Credit: Getty Images

“During our discussions with Mark and his management, he has made it clear that he is committed to pursuing an AFL career with the support of his family and friends and we are delighted that this will be with our club.

“Mark is super competitive, with good speed and lateral movements which we think will complement our young and developing backline well.”

Keane, who is 194cm tall and weighs 96kg, said the timing was right for his return to Australia and that he was looking forward to continuing his AFL career with Adelaide.

“I never lost my passion for playing this sport and when the opportunity came up to come back it was something I obviously considered very strongly,” Keane said.

“The circumstances are right, as is the timing for winning an All Ireland Grand Final with my club Ballygiblin.

“I can have my family and friends flown in and visit which will make a huge difference and I will also have the support of my partner Caoimha who will also be moving to Adelaide so we are very excited for what lies ahead. “

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Kurtley Beale charged with sexual assault. Former Collingwood Magpies defender Mark Keane is returning to the AFL, signing a one-year deal with the Adelaide Crows

James Brien

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