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Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 11:22 am ACDT

Crows latest to cast eye over Eire

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The Adelaide Football Club are the latest AFL club planning to bring a talented young Gaelic footballer to Australia for a trial. Teenager Carl Dias is expected to arrive for a four-week trial with the Crows in August. Although a member of Dublin's under 18 squad, the youngster came to attention while playing for a combined Coláiste Éoin/St Benildus schools team against an underage representative side from Adelaide in an International Rules match earlier this year.

Having some contact with the Adelaide Crows, this writer has urged them not to be left behind in the pursuit of Irish players (that advice goes to all AFL clubs), and the word over the past year had been that they were considering their options, and as recently as last week club CEO Steven Trigg suggested they were ready to make a move. Now that move has a name, in Carl Dias.

With the draft designed to level the competition, the quality of player development and football departments has given some clubs the edge - whilst some sides sit high on the ladder thanks to high draft picks in earlier times of poor performance, others, such as Adelaide and Collingwood, have managed to maintain consistent finals participation despite regularly being written off as having poor squads.

With nearly all AFL clubs now increasing their football operations budgets, the next "edge" could well be in clever international recruitment. And with the spector of less quality draft picks in a few years with the entry of two new AFL clubs, it seems this issue is now focussing the minds of some teams. Adelaide’s general manager of football operations, John Reid, has said of the Irish experiment, "It's a chance to get a free hit, from a list point of view. The fact that new teams are coming in influenced us because of the draft".

You can read more about the plans for Dias in an article on the AFC website, Adelaide joins the Irish push, by Catherine Murphy.

Check out more of the Irish players plying their trade via our International Players in Australia page.

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