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Setanta's debut stalled

  • Wednesday, August 04 2004 @ 04:41 pm ACST
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Europe Setanta O'hAilpin is unlikely to play football at the top level this year.

Irish recruit Setanta O'hAilpin was listed as only two weeks away from resuming from injury for AFL club Carlton. The former hurling star was widely considered to be on the verge of a call-up to the seniors, after discovering good form with Carlton's VFL (Victorian Football League) club Northern Bullants. Setanta, dubbed Carlos by Blues fans, played in a Wizard Cup pre-season match, but was sent back to the local competition to learn the trade in what is his first season of Australian football. Unfortunately the injury is obviously not healing.

O'hAilpin's enormous work ethic was largely responsible for head coach Denis Pagan elevating the rookie to Carlton's senior list, so it was ironic that he almost immediately went down with what Carlton described as a "right foot stress reaction". Such injuries invariably result from over training. If things went well for the 196cm athlete, O'hAilpin might still have managed to make his senior debut towards the end of the 2004 season, of which there are only 4 rounds remaining for the inexperienced Blues side, three wins and percentage adrift of the top 8 spot required to play finals. However, Carlos is now listed as "indefinite", so it appears as though a long rehabilitation before a big pre-season is in order.