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Shaun McKernan

Last played for St Kilda Saints in 2021
Games: 91     Born: September 1, 1990     Origin: Calder Cannons
Playing Height: 196cm     Playing Weight: 100kg     Position: Forward, Ruck
First Drafted: Round 2, Pick #28 2008 National Draft by Adelaide Crows
Last Drafted: Round 2, Pick #19 2016 Rookie Draft by Essendon Bombers
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Shaun McKernan Biography

Wednesday, 18 August 2021
Shaun McKernan calls time on an AFL career spanning 13 seasons across three clubs.

The 31-year-old informed teammates of his decision on Tuesday after a 12-month stint at Moorabbin as a back-up ruck/forward having not been offered a new deal for 2022.

Recruited as a delisted free agent after being cut by Essendon at the end of 2020, McKernan managed four matches for the Saints before he was hampered by a toe injury in the second half of the season.

Friday, 6 November 2020
St Kilda signs Shaun McKernan as a delisted free agent.

He will now be at his third club, having played 34 games for Adelaide from 2009-2014 and 53 games for Essendon since 2016.

Monday, 26 October 2020
St Kilda expresses an interest in discarded ex-Bomber Shaun McKernan, with the club hopeful of adding depth in attack.

"He's obviously finished up at Essendon. There are a few marking forward types that are either out of contract or finishing up at their current clubs and we've made a number of phone calls to their managers over the past few weeks," St Kilda list manager James Gallagher.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020
Shaun McKernan tells of his pneumonia diagnosis at the start of the 2020 season which he believed may have been COVID-19.

"It was a bit of a shock, I didn't know how I'd gotten it or where I'd gotten it from. That was the question I kept asking the docs and they said it was a bug you could pick up anywhere," he said.

"It did knock me around for a bit. It probably took me a good one or two weeks after round one to get back into full running and my weights stuff again. But the doctors were fantastic with it all and got me back to full health."

Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Since the AFL imposed its suspension of the 2020 AFL season (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Jacob Townsend is among five Bombers, alongside Jake Stringer, Shaun McKernan, Jayden Laverde and Kyle Langford, to have started a work placement with Border Express, the delivery and shipping company which is a corporate partner of the club.

The players have generally been at Border Express' headquarters for night shifts beginning at 5pm and finishing at 10.30pm, gaining an insight into work away from the football field.

"For the first week after the games stopped, I was driving myself insane," Townsend said.

"They were keen to help as soon as they heard we were keen to do something with our time and to see what the real world's like as well.

"We train and play footy every day nearly so it's nice to be able to put on another hat and see what other guys do in their lives."

Saturday, 15 June 2019
Ben Stratton will face the AFL Tribunal on charges relating to pinching and stomping.

He was also fined $1000 for making an obscene gesture to the crowd – he raised his middle finger – during the Hawks' 19-point loss to Essendon at Marvel Stadium.

In relation to the pinching case, the miserly defender was charged with serious misconduct against Essendon speedster Orazio Fantasia in the first quarter.

He was charged with stomping on Bomber big man Shaun McKernan in the last quarter. Footage shows Stratton using his left foot to stomp on McKernan's right foot, after which the Don pursued Stratton.

"My actions probably weren't a great look for the game and it's probably not something you want to be known for. As captain I've got to be better and setting the example for not only the Hawthorn club but also any kids out there," Stratton said on Channel Seven.

Saturday, 6 April 2019
Shaun McKernan is expected to miss up to 6 weeks with a hamstring strain suffered during Essendon's clash against Melbourne where he still managed to play out the game.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Shaun McKernan signs a new two-year deal with Essendon to remain at the club until the end of 2020.
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Out-of-contract forward Shaun McKernan suffers a serious hamstring injury at the worst possible time, but coach John Worsfold says the big forward should still be in the red and black in 2019.

The 27-year-old badly injured his left hamstring when leaping for a mark in the second term of the Bombers' 29-point win over Fremantle.

"It's a bad hamstring, it certainly looks like it. Really disappointing for Shaun, he's been playing really good footy for us, and now his job is to do what he needs to do to recover as quickly as possible," Worsfold said.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Shaun McKernan signs a new deal with Essendon to remain at the club in 2018.

The Bombers will retain McKernan as a rookie for another season, but under revised rules next season, category A rookies will be able to play senior games without needing to be on the senior list.

Monday, 20 March 2017
Shaun McKernan is set to line up in the ruck against Hawthorn at the MCG in Essendon's 2017 season opener after he was upgraded from the rookie list.

McKernan gets his opportunity with the Bombers' ruck stocks having been depleted through injury.

Monday, 6 February 2017
A group of four Essendon players are left shaken by a frightening home invasion, which saw four cars stolen from the Maribyrnong home they share.

Jayden Laverde, Conor McKenna, rookie-listed ruckman Shaun McKernan and VFL listed player James Ferry weren't injured in the brazen robbery.

It's alleged a number of offenders, some armed with baseball bats, broke into the property the players share around 4am on Friday morning.

"Once inside they took wallets and keys to four vehicles, then drove from the property in the cars," a Victoria Police spokesperson said.

"One of the residents woke up after hearing one of the vehicles, a Volkswagen, crash nearby and saw a man getting into another vehicle.

"It’s believed the offenders arrived at the property in a stolen Toyota Camry, which has since been recovered dumped in Maribyrnong.

"The Volkswagen stolen from the property has also been recovered nearby.

"The other three vehicles, a Mazda and two Holden Commodores, remain outstanding."

Essendon confirmed the identities of the players who were victims to the early-morning invasion.

"This was obviously quite a frightening experience for the players involved," football manager Rob Kerr said.

"We are extremely thankful the players were not harmed, and we have offered them the appropriate avenues of support."

Monday, 28 November 2016
Essendon select Shaun McKernan with pick No.19 in the 2016 Rookie Draft.
Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Essendon delists Shaun McKernan, but will draft him as a rookie if the forward has no other suitors.

"Shaun is a very focused and competitive young man, and when given the opportunity at senior level he's shown he can add real value to the team, particularly in his versatility to play as both a key forward and ruckman," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.

"Shaun is driven to play regular senior football and we hope with a big pre-season and continued development in specific areas of his game, he can achieve this goal at Essendon."

Friday, 1 April 2016
Essencon coach John Worsfold provides a blunt assessment of why Shaun McKernan has been dropped from the Bombers' senior side.

"He certainly hasn't given us enough when he's been forward so that's another reason why we've had a change," Worsfold said.

"It's very hard to run into form at AFL level so he gets an opportunity to have a hit-out with the VFL boys this afternoon and just take some marks, get some shots at goal and be more heavily involved in the game – that's what'll get him up and going better than anything."

Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Shaun McKernan is promoted to Essendon's senior list on a one-year contract.

"I really enjoyed my first season of footy at Essendon, so to secure a new deal and be elevated onto the senior list is obviously extremely exciting for me," McKernan said.

"I have full confidence in my teammates and our ambition to improve and be more competitive in 2016. We're looking forward to playing under Woosha and we want to reward our fans for sticking by us."

Monday, 7 September 2015
In his five years at Adelaide, Shaun McKernan says he found he was getting so worked up mentally before games that it was having a negative impact on the way he performed.

So he counts his decision to seek out the advice of Essendon psychologist Jonah Oliver as a major factor in the way he has been able to turn his career around at his second club.

"For me it was about controlling my emotions out on the field and in the build up to the game," McKernan said.

"I used to worry about how I was going to perform and that's the biggest thing I've worked on with the psych we've got at the club.

"He's helped me out in a big way and allowed me to focus on my consistency and not get too worried if I'm not getting a kick."

Sunday, 30 August 2015
Shaun McKernan has used the end of the season to prove to Essendon he has a future at the club, with the ruckman hitting a form spike in recent weeks.

His past two weeks shouldering the club's ruck duties has shown he can be a valuable member of Essendon's set-up in 2016 and beyond.

He backed up a three-goal effort last week against Gold Coast with 15 disposals and 31 hit-outs against Richmond big man Ivan Maric in Saturday night's loss to the Tigers.

"I obviously spent some time in the team early in the year and was disappointed to go out. Due to injuries again I've come back in and wanted to finish the year strongly and cement myself at the club and hopefully I can be here next year as well," McKernan said.

Friday, 24 July 2015
Essendon coach James Hird has again overlooked ruckman Jonathan Giles because he didn't want to drop Shaun McKernan after one poor game, despite the club's ruck troubles.

McKernan was soundly beaten by North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein last week in a match-up that Hird said was the difference between the sides.

Giles performed well at VFL level the next day, recording 29 hit-outs, kicking two goals and showing more around the ground, but has failed to break through for his first senior game in Essendon colours after being traded to the club last year following three seasons with Greater Western Sydney.

The recruitment of Giles and his continual non-selection has been puzzling, given the Bombers' issues in the ruck and a long-term injury to Tom Bellchambers.

But the Bombers have resisted picking Giles for Saturday night's clash with Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium, instead choosing McKernan to shoulder the load against Power duo Paddy Ryder and Matthew Lobbe.

"I don't think it's about Jonathan, it's more about Shaun. I don't think that after one performance when you get beaten that you throw a player out," Hird said.

"I think Shaun's brought something to the team which has been good and I certainly don't believe that you throw a player away and go and get another one just on one performance. Shaun's got an opportunity this week and we hope he performs."

Monday, 29 June 2015
Shaun McKernan says he is far better placed to forge a successful AFL career second time around.

"Obviously, getting delisted and probably getting told that you're not good enough stings you a fair bit," McKernan said.

"I wanted to prove a fair few people wrong when I came to Essendon.

"The people I've worked with here have been really good and all the boys have been really open and have made me part of the group, so it's been pretty easy to fit in."

Friday, 26 June 2015
Shaun McKernan is elevated to Essendon's senior list in the wake of Tom Bellchambers' long-term foot injury.

McKernan was elevated from the rookie list earlier in the season but was used in just one game.

"I'm excited to get back out there," McKernan said.

"When I got elevated again and then picked, it was just about re-establishing myself and showing everyone I can play and get some continuity back in my career."

Thursday, 9 April 2015
Essendon upgrades tall forward Shaun McKernan to its senior list.

He replaces veteran speedster Jason Winderlich who has been placed on the long-term injury list because of an ongoing back problem.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Former Adelaide Crow Shaun McKernan is picked up by Essendon with pick No.12 in the 2014 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

"We needed another tall third forward and someone who can swing in the ruck, and Shaun can do that," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro.

"His best is very good - we understand we've got to get some more consistency in his game, but at 24 we felt he's got a lot of good footy ahead of him.

"Being delisted by the Crows has put a bit of fire in his belly and there's an opportunity for him."

Shaun McKernan says his older brother, Corey McKernan, has reminded him to make the most of his 2nd chance at Essendon.

"I had a brief chat with (Corey) before and he was pretty happy for me and just rapt I got another chance," McKernan said.

"But he just said to me now you've got make sure if this is your second chance you don't want to get in this position again.

"Just make sure you leave nothing unturned and give it everything you've got."

The new Bomber could also see the irony in the fact he's landed at the club his older brother so often battled in finals while playing for North Melbourne towards the end of the 90s.

"It's probably a bit ironic that the team they went up against most was Essendon, so you can imagine that Corey doesn't have much love for Essendon but he's still happy that I'm here," McKernan said.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Shaun McKernan will train with St Kilda at the start of November in the lead up to the NAB AFL Draft following his delisting from the Crows.

"I've spoken to a few [clubs]. Next week I'll start training at St Kilda which has been good…they're going to give me a bit of a chance," McKernan said on Adelaide radio station 5AA.

"I'll be there for three weeks and wait and see what happens at the draft.

"[I'm] excited to get down there. They've got a pretty young group and got some good people on board so I'm looking forward to it."

Thursday, 23 October 2014
Shaun McKernan says he still has much to offer at AFL level despite being delisted by the Crows.

"I know I've got my best footy in front of me," McKernan said.

"I'll go anywhere, I just want to get my foot in the door because from there anything can happen.

"Even though I wasn't able to play to the level I know I'm capable of, I feel I learned so much and added a lot to my game over the past six years.

"I'm a much smarter footballer today."

Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Shaun McKernan is open to playing anywhere as he seeks to earn a second chance at AFL level after being delisted by the Crows.

"He's got to find some more consistency, but I think if you're looking at a key forward/back-up ruckman, Shaun certainly will attract interest from that perspective," McKernan's manager Justin Reid said.

"I think when you get to that stage where you still have that burning desire, I think you look at anywhere to pursue that dream.

"Shaun certainly is a unique type of player in terms of his skill set and his size."

Saturday, 6 September 2014
Shaun McKernan and Angus Graham are delisted from the Crows' list.
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Shaun McKernan re-signs with Adelaide after failing to fine a suitor in Melbourne during the trade period.

"At the end of the season, we had a mature discussion with Shaun and his management about Shaun's future," Adelaide list manager David Noble said.

"We respected Shaun's desire to explore opportunities closer to family and friends in Melbourne, but he is and has always been a required player at our club.

"We believe he has plenty of room for development and think his versatility as a forward and ruckman is important to our playing group."

Friday, 6 September 2013
Shaun McKernan informs the Crows that he wishes to be traded to a Victorian club in search of greater opportunities.
Saturday, 13 July 2013
Drew Petrie has joined a chorus of voices calling on the AFL to overhaul its contentious Match Review Panel after the panel found Shaun McKernan's elbow to Eagle Brad Sheppard to be reckless rather than intentional.

"Shaun McKernan's elbow to the head of West Coast Eagles midfielder Brad Sheppard was appalling," Petrie wrote in an article for the Ballarat Courier.

"More shocking though was the AFL match review panel's finding. Two weeks. That's all the Adelaide Crows' big man was rubbed out for.

"I don't understand how it's been allowed to get this bad and this disappointing. Every week, we are left dumbfounded by its findings and the system is having a direct impact on the careers of players."

Thursday, 11 July 2013
AFL football operations chief Mark Evans says Shaun McKernan's two-match ban for elbowing West Coast's Brad Sheppard was lenient.

"My opinion was the grading of the McKernan incident was a little lenient," Evans said.

"But the match review panel would have looked into all the angles of the vision. They spoke to the umpires.

"I accepted the match review panel would have looked into this far greater than I would have, but I would've felt it was slightly lenient.

"The question comes as to when should the general manager of football operations go above that and try to direct something to a Tribunal."

Tuesday, 9 July 2013
The Adelaide Crows accept a two-match ban for Shaun McKernan for elbowing Eagle Brad Sheppard in the head.

"We probably thought it'd be two or three weeks, it came back as two, so it's good for Shaun," Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson said.

Sunday, 20 January 2013
Crows assistant coach Mark Bickley says Shaun McKernan must work on his consistency.

"That's one of the things we're continuing to work on with Shaun," Bickley said.

"He's been a bit guilty of (it) when he hasn't played well, the contribution has been quite small. We want to narrow the gap between his best and his worst."

Saturday, 13 October 2012
Former Crows recruiting boss Matt Rendell says Shaun McKernan is more than capable of filling Kurt Tippett's role at the Crows.

"I've been saying for two years that if McKernan plays in Tippett's spot he might be of more value," Rendell said.

"He won't miss the sitters, he'll kick them (goals) from outside 50 and he'll get the ones on the ground.

"And he's a better ruckman than Kurt, too, because he can move around the ground better."

Monday, 9 July 2012
Adelaide forward-ruckman Shaun McKernan will be sidelined until just before finals after scans revealed three separate facial fractures suffered against Port Adelaide.
Monday, 21 March 2011
Shaun McKernan may find himself in the Adelaide team in round one due to an ankle injury to Kurt Tippett.

"It's disappointing to not have Kurt around, but the depth of the group has been our strength so far," teammate Patrick Dangerfield said.

"Taylor Walker played a really good game last weekend and Shaun has also been in good form... so we've got some players there, who can certainly cover him."

Monday, 14 February 2011
Shaun McKernan says it is time he challenged teammates Kurt Tippett and Taylor Walker for a regular spot in the Crows' forward line.

"The time has come for me to step up," McKernan said.

"I can't afford to be playing in the SANFL all year - I've got to be a regular (AFL) contributor and push those other two guys (Tippett and Walker) for a spot."

Thursday, 20 August 2009
Young Adelaide ruckman Shaun McKernan is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering another break in the same left arm he had fractured earlier in the year.

"It had been more than six weeks, so we felt it was worth a look at and Shaun obviously wanted to get back into the fray, but you don't know if it has healed until you try," Reid told Adelaide radio station 5aa.

"Even though the scans showed his arm was okay, it's obviously got a bit of a weakness in it. We'll give that plenty of time to heal now."

Friday, 10 July 2009
Adelaide teenager Shaun McKernan will miss Saturday night's clash with Fremantle at AAMI Stadium after breaking his left arm in the warm-up before Friday's training session.

McKernan, 18, suffered the break in an innocuous clash of arms with another teammate.

"Shaun will see the specialist this afternoon and they'll decide whether to put a little plate in his arm or to let it go and that will determine how long he'll be out, but I would think it will be a minimum of six weeks," Crows' football operations manager John Reid said.

Monday, 6 July 2009
Young Crow forward Shaun McKernan seeked his brother Corey McKernan's advice ahead of his debut match against Richmond.

"He just said, 'Don't put any expectations on yourself'," McKernan said.

"Don't do anything you don't normally do and just take it as it comes. The main thing is just having a fierce attack on the ball and giving those second and third efforts."

Corey McKernan was impressed by his younger brother's efforts.

"It was great, the biggest buzz for me is you're always unsure when someone plays their first game but he fitted right in and if he keeps working hard he's hopefully got a long career ahead of him," Corey McKernan said.

"The thing that impressed me with him is how quick he actually moves.

"He's got some real speed off the mark, if he keeps working how I know he has. That's what people are going to judge him by, not me or anyone else."

Crow Shaun McKernan talks about his debut game against the Tigers.

"As soon as I crossed the boundary line and got into the forward line the ball was there and I was like, 'wow this is pretty quick'," McKernan said.

"I thought I did pretty well considering the amount of game time I had. I had to work pretty hard to get into the game and lay a few tackles to get my confidence up. Now, I know I have to work a bit harder and take the next step."

Friday, 3 July 2009
Adelaide coach Neil Craig says young key position players James Sellar and Shaun McKernan have earnt their place in the side.

"In the ruck, James is not a super tall guy. He's 196cm and a lot of the guys now are over 200cm, so he'll have his work cut out there but he's addressed some areas that we've been onto James about in terms of work ethic, work rate and competitive attitude," Craig said.

"We're not into giving games away. Shaun has earned the opportunity and the right to play AFL footy.

"We've just got to make sure that we expose those guys when the timing is right and they've earned it because we found last year that, even though Andy Otten and Patrick Dangerfield only played two games, it made a huge difference when it came to the pre-season."

Wednesday, 1 July 2009
A serious knee-injury to Crows ruckman Brad Moran has opened up a spot for youngsters James Sellar and Shaun McKernan.

"It's disappointing to lose Brad, especially because he's just started to come into some really good form," assistant coach David Noble said.

"Losing any player who is starting to have an influence in games is going to hurt you a little bit but it's up to others to pick up the slack."

"McKernan and Sellar have both been playing some really strong ruck work at SANFL level and I reckon they are ready to play. Shaun's been quite dominant at times in the middle, I haven't seen James as much but certainly the reports from Peter Jonas and Alan Stewart have been very encouraging, about their ruckwork particularly."

Adelaide has lost Brad Moran to injury but fellow ruckman Ivan Maric says he's happy to shoulder more responsibility in his absence and that either Shaun McKernan or James Sellar would be capable replacements for Moran.

"I played against Shaun in the SANFL earlier this year and he's really aggressive and fierce around the ball, which is what midfielders want from a ruckman, especially at the centre square," he said.

"James' centre bounce is pretty good as well, but he's got other strengths like being able to go up forward and kick goals too."

Monday, 29 June 2009
Brad Moran ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after landing awkwardly in a contest on Saturday against Sydney, ruining a promising day that netted him 18 touches and 14 hit-outs.

Moran's injury could open the door for 18-year-old Shaun McKernan to make his debut against Richmond on Saturday night at Gold Coast Stadium.

Friday, 12 June 2009
Adelaide coach Neil Craig says draftee Shaun McKernan will play at AFL level before the season's through.

"Shaun came under strong consideration last week and, if his form continues at South and with the things he's doing there, he'll play AFL football this year," Craig said.

"I hope Shaun can push into our side because it's important for him to do that, just as it is for Rory Sloane, Phil Davis and James Sellar, who have got really good form and are starting to push their cases for AFL selection."

McKernan is understandably pleased with being close to selection.

"I've achieved most of my pre-season goals already and the only one left standing is to play AFL," McKernan said.

"When someone like Craigy or even (development manager) Alan Stewart comes to you and says, 'You're ready to play AFL', it's a pretty big reward for effort.

"Now, I've just got to bide my time and hopefully in the next couple of weeks that opportunity will come up."

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