Irish defender Keane quits Magpies, AFL

Collingwood's Irish defender Mark Keane has quit the AFL after five senior games to remain at home in Ireland.

Collingwood's Irish defender Mark Keane has quit the AFL to remain at home in Ireland after battling with homesickness throughout his career.

Keane joined the Magpies in 2018 as a category B rookie, debuted in 2020 and went on to play five AFL games.

The 21-year-old returned to Ireland in August last year, came back to Melbourne briefly for pre-season in November but didn't return for the re-commencement of training this week.

"Unfortunately, Mark has suffered from homesickness his entire time at Collingwood," Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said.

"He went home early in August prior to the season finishing and returned after training had started in November.

"Mark didn't return for training in the New Year and we decided, along with Mark, that the rigours of AFL football combined with being away from home are too much for him at this time."

Keane was contracted until the end of 2022 as a Category B rookie and is unable to be replaced in Collingwood's squad.

"Although a tough call, I know remaining in Ireland and being with my family is the right decision for me at this time," Keane said.