Lions in first for Irish Talents
Wednesday, August 01 2007 @ 10:52 am ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
It seems that as previously reported here Brendan Murphy will be coming out to check out the Brisbane Lion’s facilities (as Martin Clarke did at Collingwood 13 months ago) after a visit from Gabby Allen recently and confirmed by Brisbane’s Michael Bowers yesterday. Also yesterday it was confirmed in many Irish papers including the Mayo News (Hanley hits for Oz) that Pierce Hanley has been offered a two year contract to join the Brisbane Lions.
Hanley plays Gaelic football for county team Ballaghaderreen, and hopes to win a title with them this year. Timing looks to be an issue for the gifted youth to come and view the Lions with both the championships and his studies both on when the Lions would like him to come out to Australia. Although he has been offered a contract he is yet to see it, and review for details but he would need to sign up before the National draft. Hanley is also a Ron Barassi medal winner for best player of the series in the Under 17 – International Rules series against Australia.
The Australian media has been focussing more on the Irish recruiting in the past weeks and speaking with the recruiters and gauging the feeling in Ireland. Conversely the Irish media have been reporting the flurry of activity and noting the effect it may have on their game. Yesterday it was widely reported that Sydney coach Paul Roos felt that without the resumption of the International Rules series the recruiting of Irish talent would become even more widespread. A view we have held here for some time – that the International Rules series is really the only bargaining chip that the GAA have at their disposal and that it must resume if they wish to try to stem the tide. The GAA are due to meet the AFL in the US in October. We would also speculate that the trip will allow the AFL delegates to attend the USAFL’s 10th Anniversary National Championships in Louisville Kentucky.
And while it looks like the Lions are the first in to encourage these two Irish youth to come to Australia to play for them, we still wonder if there will be moves by other clubs to come in and offer something more attractive at the last minute?