Contributed by: Brett Northey
Carlton's Irish recuit, Setanta O'hAilpin, is off to a solid start to his second season in Australia. Continuing his footy development with VFL side the Northern Bullants, Setanta has played several pre-season matches and kicked two goals in their opening regular season match.
The Bullants are Carlton's feeder club, meaning players that don't make the Blues' AFL side play for the Bullants club. O'hAilpin is in his second year on Carlton's international rookie list, and his younger brother Aisake is in his first season.
The Bullants played a pre-season match against a diluted Geelong side on March 12th. Jason Sulligoi reported "Two things that stood out from a team point of view for the Bullants, was their imposing height up forward, with the O’hAilpin boys and Daniel Batson constantly providing big mobile targets". Setanta played up forward and in ruck.
In Round 1 of the VFL season, the previous weekend, the Northern Bullants had an impressive 44 point win over last year’s premiers Sandringham. "Setanta O’hAilpin exploded in the third term with two goals inside a minute. First, by cleverly nudging his opponent under the ball, he swooped on the loose ball and showed great speed by burning off two chasing Sandringham players. He then took a strong mark, and from forty metres out, kicked truly".
Although he ended the day with just those two goals, it was a good start to the year, and Carlton coach Denis Pagan continues to be happy with his progress. Pagan has suggested Setanta will be better served remaining in the VFL for his second season, where he will get greater game time than he would coming off the bench in the AFL.
Information courtesy of the Carlton FC website.
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