Donnelly flies the Crows nest

Tuesday, July 20 2010 @ 02:42 pm ACST

Contributed by: John Corrigan

Brian Donnelly, the Adelaide Crows' first and only international recruit, has decided to return to Ireland despite having several months to run on his contract. Donnelly never made a senior appearance for the Crows and has decided to follow in the footsteps of Martin Clarke and Colm Begley by returning home. He has recently discovered that he requires a shoulder operation. With no hope of playing in the remainder for the year he has decided to cut his losses and head home.

He has played 12 matches this season for Central Districts reserves in the SANFL. Last season he played as a key forward for Glenelg's reserves, but this year he has played in the back line. Despite 12 games he has been named amongst the best players for his side only once, leaving him a big step from SANFL senior level, let alone AFL.

Crows football manager Phil Harper said that the operation added to home sickness meant it was “in his best interest to finish his time in Adelaide”. “As the club’s first international recruit, Brian fitted really well into the culture of the club and gave it everything he could in terms of learning a new game," Harper continued.

"The football club appreciates Brian’s efforts during his entire time here and we wish him all the best for his future back home in Ireland.”

The 21-year-old will be expected to return to play for his native Co. Louth as he returns to Ireland at the end of July.

An interview with Donnelly can be read here on the AFC website.

In other Irish related AFL news, several players have suffered contrasting fortunes of late. Following some outstanding performances in the first half of the season, Setanta O’hAlpin was dropped last week following a series of poor matches. That match saw Carlton lose to the Sydney Swans, who again had Tadhg Kennelly in fine form. Setanta played in the VFL with the Northern Bullants for the first time this season, where he kicked three goals and was named amongst his side's best for the day.

Pearce Hanley has played the last two games for the Brisbane Lions. He impressed in a narrow loss to St. Kilda gaining 17 disposals but was ineffective as his side were blown away last week by Hawthorn.

Finally, Michael Quinn played his first senior game of the year in Essendon’s heavy defeat away to Adelaide. As was the case in the Bombers' elimination final defeat last season, Quinn looked out of his depth as his side struggled in all areas of play. Quinn had only 8 possessions for the match. He was subsequently dropped to the Bendigo Bombers in the VFL where he has been named in his side's best for the past two games.

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