Mayo’s two-time young footballer of the year Oisín Mullin has reversed his decision to switch to AFL club Geelong Cats.
Having given more thought to the move and discussing it with his family, the Kilmaine man has turned his back on a two-year rookie contract and instead will line out again for his county this year.
In a statement released by Mayo GAA last night, Mullin said that “going to Australia to play professionally was a really interesting opportunity and it was something I wanted to research and consider in detail.
“It was a big decision for me as playing for Mayo with my friends is a huge honour and something I love doing, so I wanted to take the time to consider all aspects of it. After some careful thinking and a lot of support from family, I have decided to stay in Ireland and I am really excited about joining up with the Mayo Senior Football panel as soon as possible.
“I am grateful to everyone who helped me during the process. I especially want to send my appreciation to everyone at Geelong Football Club. I want to thank them for their understanding and wish them every success for the future.”
Mayo chairman Seamus Tuohy lauded Mullin’s “brave decision”, while manager James Horan welcomed the 21-year-old’s call to remain. “It has been a pleasure to work with Oisín since he came into the panel in 2019. I am delighted he will be part of the Mayo Senior Football panel this year.
“Oisín is a fantastic guy, a leader, and adds so much to the setup. There is a great spirit in the current squad and all the players are delighted to be back up and running. Our first game is now only a few weeks away and we as a team are really looking forward to the year ahead.”
Speaking over the weekend, Geelong Cats chief executive Steve Hocking had been of the mind that Mullin’s delay in travelling to Australia was due to a Covid test. “He’s been much talked about,” Hocking told a Geelong radio station. “I think there’s no doubt the Irish are doing everything possible to retain that level of talent, which is quite understandable.
“He tested positive just as he was about to get on a plane to come across here, hence there was no point in him getting on the plane. So he’s back there at the moment. I’m sure they (Mayo) are working really, really hard behind the scenes to retain him but we’re obviously excited that we’ve got him available to us so we’ll keep working through it.”
In November, thereported that Mullin’s pending move to Geelong had hit a snag and he had yet to sign an official contract for the club where he would have linked up with Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor.