Mayo manager James Horan has received a huge boost with the news that Oisín Mullin will remain in Ireland.
The expectation was Mullin would this week commence life as an AFL player with the Geelong club.
Instead the two-time PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year will be staying in Ireland and will be making himself available to James Horan for selection ahead of the 2022 Allianz National Football League.
Mullin told Mayo GAA 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," he said.
"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."
The 21-year old Kilmaine clubman has been an enormous addition to the Mayo defence since making his championship debut in October 2020.
He was recently named PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year for the second successive year.
Mullin was also part of the Mayo panels that reached the 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland SFC finals, starting both deciders at Croke Park.
Mayo manager James Horan said: "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."
Geelong, meanwhile, have wished Mullin every success in his future.
A club statement read: " Oisín Mullin today advised the club that he will remain in Ireland to play in the GAA with Mayo rather than take up an opportunity to play with the Cats."
The statement added that Geelong's list manager Andrew Mackie recognised the difficulty Mullin faced in making his decions and wished the player well.
"Moving to a new country to take up a new game is a significant decision, and we respect the fact that Oisin has decided to remain at home," Mackie said.
"We have enjoyed getting to know Oisin through this process and wish him well with Mayo as they seek an All-Ireland title. We hope he can achieve his goals both on and off the field."