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Irish recruits begin arriving Down Under

  • Sunday, November 11 2007 @ 08:44 pm ACDT
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The wave of recent Irish recruits to AFL clubs have begun arriving in Australia for pre-season training. Although mainstream Aussie media has been slow to pick up on the development of Australian Football internationally, because the men from Ireland are headed for AFL clubs there has been no shortage of articles.

Most of the players have been added to the International Rookie List for the respective clubs, meaning they are outside of the main squad lists, but can play for the clubs' feeder teams, such as in the VFL, and be called up to senior duty if a long term injury occurs.

Michael Shields has joined his fellow County Corkmen, the brothers O'hAilpin, in training at Carlton. The Blues elevated Aisake O'hAilpin to the senior list, joining older brother Setanta.

In something of a revelation, Collingwood recruiting manager Derek Hine has revealed that the Magpies had been working with Kevin Dyas for the past two years and it appears he has been offered an International Rookie contract. The rapid rise of countryman Martin Clarke, also at Collingwood, has set a new benchmark that the newcomers will be keen to reach.

Similarly Sydney Swans star and Irishman Tadhg Kennelly has been joined by Brendan Murphy. Just 18 years old but 195 centimetres tall, he bucks the trend of recruits from Ireland being smaller running backmen (with the exception of the O'hAilpin's, who were recruited from hurling and are also half Fijian).

And finally to Brisbane, where Peace Hanley is now settling in, no doubt helped by team-mate Colm Begley who has also made the Gaelic football to Aussie Rules transition.

It has been reported that all four of the recent arrivals have been International Rookie listed for 2008, although the official lists do not show that as yet.

For more, see:

Irish arrive to try their luck by Karen Lyon.

Irishman poised to give AFL second try as a Blue which reports that Brendan Quigley, who tried out with Brisbane in 2005, may have another go with Carlton.

Another O’hAilpin elevated, to be sureby Carlton's Tony De Bolfo.