Contributed by: Jake Anson
Reports in the Australian and Irish press concerning the signing of Gaelic footballer Sean Cavanagh to the Brisbane Lions are premature, with discussions ongoing.
In an earlier article on worldfootynews.com we reported that the Irish all-rounder and International Rules representative had agreed to terms with the Brisbane Lions regarding a switch of codes for 2006. The information in that article was sourced from Australian ad Irish media agencies, which had seemingly been caught up in the intrigue surrounding the story.
Over the past few days, sources close to Cavanagh and Lions' coach Leigh Matthews have set the record straight, saying that whilst Cavanagh has been approached by the AFL club, no deal has yet been struck. The London Sunday Times reported that Cavanagh was approached rather suddenly with the offer of spending a month or two with the Lions following the Irish International Rules team's tour to Australia later this year. Cavanagh agreed to keep an "open mind" regarding the idea, and from there the story snowballed.
Matthews was quoted on afl.com.au stating that "there were a couple of (Irish) players spoken to but no-one was signed". He did not name Cavanagh as a player specifically approached, but further dismissed the accuracy of media coverage of the issue, saying "it was premature when it was reported someone was coming out."
County Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, an outspoken critic of the GAA's connection with the AFL and the International Rules series, further confirmed that the Lions approach had "just been enquiries" on the Hogan Stand website. Cavanagh is County Tyrone's star player, and Tyrone officials are rumoured to be concerned about the prospect of losing him to an Australian club.
Undoubtedly, further developments are to come regarding the potential recruitment of Cavanagh and other Irishmen by AFL clubs. As always, worldfootynews.com will keep you up to date with all the news as it occurs.
World Footy News