Lally looks for Aussie opportunities
Monday, April 07 2008 @ 12:03 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Gaelic footballer Declan Lally is reportedly on his way to Australia to switch codes. Lally looks to have left his St Brigid's team and Dublin County to take up Aussie Rules. Lally was on the 2006 Dublin side that won the 2006 Leinster senior football championship against Offaly and on Dublin’s winning team for the 2008 O'Byrne Cup winning team which defeated Longford in the final. In recent times Lally was dropped from the Dublin senior football squad and that has prompted his move.
The report on The Press Association site suggests he will be meeting with a “team manager and club chairman of an unnamed Australian rules club” in Sydney (but not with the Sydney Swans). It looks like he will try to be placed with a feeder club for 2008 with hopes of making it to an AFL list for 2009. Given that Eddie McGuire has recently been in talks with the Dublin Blues in relation to his Collingwood AFL club playing them in a future International Rules clash, we might speculate that Lally could become a Magpie. If Collingwood were the club involved we may see Lally line up at in the black and white stripes in the VFL near future. Carlton and Brisbane’s taste for Irish recruits would also put them high on the list of possible clubs vying for the Dubliner’s services, but we can’t rule out other clubs getting on the Irish bandwagon. Against him is that players often take time to adapt and AFL clubs have therefore targeted younger players, so at 26, his age may be a deterent
And Lally may get a chance to see his countrymen up close later in the year, with the AFL expected to shortly announce whether they can squeeze in the International Rules series against the Irish this October. The GAA appears to have given the go ahead for the series to continue and the ball is in the AFL’s court as to whether 2008 will see its return under the conditions agreed upon when the two bodies met in Dubai earlier this year.