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O'hAilpin brothers to get senior list promotions in 2006?

  • Sunday, August 21 2005 @ 07:42 am ACST
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Scot Palmer, prominent football writer for Melbourne's Sunday Herald-Sun, published a short article this week on the performance of Carlton's O'hAilpin brothers, whom he believes may be on course for senior list promotions next season.

Setanta O'hAilpin, 22, joined the Blues in 2003 as an international rookie after starring as a junior hurler in Ireland. If not for the restrictions on rookie players and the lack of an opening on Carlton's list via a long term injury, Setanta would surely have cemented a place in the Carlton senior side during 2005. In the absence of a senior opening, Setanta has been outstanding playing for the Northern Bullants - the Blues' VFL affiliate side - and is tipped by Palmer to take out best & fairest honours for the club this season.

Whilst Setanta's stunning performances for the Bullants must be frustrating for Carlton coach Dennis Pagan, whose team is languishing on the bottom of the AFL ladder, it gives Blues fans something to look forward to next season. Pagan is said to be delighted with Setanta's development, and younger brother Aisake, who turns 20 this week, is reportedly playing well enough to secure another season with the Blues.

With the superb form currently being shown by Sydney Swans Irish recruit Tadhg Kennelly - who has played a significant role in the Swans' drive to the final four - next year could see three Irish footballers playing at the highest level each week. If the Brisbane Lions' recruiting drive in the Emerald Isle this off-season is successful, Kennelly and the O'hAilpin brothers may be among the first of many Irish footballers with AFL clubs.