A GROUP OF Irish sportswomen will bid to earn professional rookie contracts with an AFL club for the 2019 season when they visit Melbourne for an intensive week-long trial on Thursday.
After a worldwide recruitment process spanning eight weeks attracted over 100 applicants, 11 Irish players from a range of sports including rugby, Gaelic football and camogie made the final selection of 18, with the group preparing to travel Down Under this week.
While there, the hopefuls will be put through their paces and tested across a number of disciplines, including fitness and skills sessions, under the watchful eye of scouts from AFLW clubs.
Among the Irish contingent is Ireland international rugby player Mairead Coyne, three-time camogie All-Star nominee Mary Ryan, Tipperary footballer Aisling McCarthy and Cavan’s Aisling Sheridan.
Mayo duo Cora Staunton and Sarah Rowe are already confirmed for the 2019 Women’s AFL season, signing contracts with Great Western Sydney Giants and Collingwood respectively.
Ahead of the group’s departure from Dublin on Thursday, Mike Currane of AFL Ireland Women, said: “It is extremely exciting for the players, with some potential life changing opportunities ahead, and a once in a lifetime experience in terms of the camp itself.
Tipperary’s Aisling McCarthy.
Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
“I am thrilled that this many Irish girls have been selected and it is a sign of the level of talent that we have here in Ireland.”
In addition to the 11 Irish involved, there are two Americans and athletes from Wales, England, France, Canada and Fiji in the final selection.
The camp takes place between 22-30 September.
Irish players attending AFLW trial:
- Aisling Considine (Clare)
- Aisling Sheridan (Cavan)
- Aisling Curley (Kildare)
- Aisling McCarthy (Tipperary)
- Amanda Maginn (AFL/Ulster Rugby)
- Eimear Gallagher (Donegal)
- Fiadhna Tangney (Kerry)
- Mairead Coyne (Connacht Rugby)
- Mary Ryan (Tipperary camogie)
- Muireann Atkinson (Monaghan)
- Yvonne McMonagle (Donegal)
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