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Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits

EuropeCollingwood will continue to gamble on Irish talent with the news that they have signed Caolan Mooney and Paul Cribben on two year international rookie deals. Like former Collingwood player Martin Clarke, Mooney hails from County Down but he will not join up with the Pies until the end of 2011 as he in still to finish school. The 17- year old had a month’s trial with the Magpies in June and impressed enough to be offer a full time deal.

Collingwood’s national recruiting manager Derek Hine recently spoke to the club’s web-site regarding Mooney. “Our team in Ireland have done a lot of work with Caolan over a 6-8 month period. I personally viewed him at the MacRory Cup semi final at Casement Park in Belfast which ironically was the same venue and same game where we first viewed Martin Clarke,” said Hine. “On the back of his MacRory semi final performance and subsequent meetings with Caolan and his family, we invited Caolan to Collingwood for a month trial. As a by-product of that trial we are really comfortable offering Caolan a two-year international contract commencing with the 2012 season.”

Ironically, having left Collingwood at the end of the 2009 season Clarke has been starring in the All-Ireland Championship for Down. They have surprised many by reaching the Semi-finals, beating perennial champions Kerry along the way.

For a 17-year-old who is still growing, Mooney appears to have undoubted talent and is noted for his speed. Hine is more than willing to gush about his potential. “Caolan’s testing for speed, agility and vertical jump places him up at the very high end in comparison to our playing group,” said Hine. “This coupled with Caolan’s ability to quickly adapt to the skill traits required for AFL which our development coaches observed and tested throughout his stay. His performance was exciting given he has never had any exposure to structured training programs before so the pure scope for improvement is enormous once he enters our system full time. He really brings a point of difference with his sheer power and speed.”

Paul Cribbin, who has previously trialled with the Pies in 2009, is from Kildare and will join the club this October commencing a two-year international contract. Cribbin has been in brilliant form for the Kildare minor team in a forward role in the All Ireland minor championship. Hine again expressed his enthusiasm for his new recruit. “We offered him a contract and we're delighted that he's indicated that he'll accept it,” said Hine. “We're really excited about him and think he's a really good prospect. He's continued to grow and develop since he's been out here.”
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Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D. on Wednesday, August 25 2010 @ 08:38 pm ACST

Clarke is an impressive talent, no matter the code. Still, I think it is encouraging for him to do so well on return to Ireland. That players can return to Ireland after stints in the AFL and do well, even win All-Ireland, shows young Irish recruits that coming to the AFL doesn't necessarily close off doors in Ireland, it may even open them.

Carna Revos!


Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Peter Parry on Wednesday, August 25 2010 @ 08:49 pm ACST

Good point - Marty Clarke was best on ground in County Down's defeat of perrenial champions County Kerry. Perhaps his overall professionalism and athletic abilities from his AFL time made for the historic victory. Perhaps they didn't - but it would at least cross the minds of many GAA and particularly County Down fans - and show that the linkage with the AFL is a two-way street.

What would also help the two-way street would be more fringe AFL players or high level amateur and state footy players playing Gaelic football when living in Ireland for a year or two. It can be a great way for young Aussies (and Gaelic women's footy is huge in Ireland - so both genders) to make friends and live in Ireland/Europe. Of course with rise of Aussie Rules in Europe there is the alternative to play footy, but with Gaelic footy you may get to play in front of 80,000.

Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 01:06 pm ACST

You'd have to think that there'd be more flow back to GAA from kids dabbling in AFL than from other codes. The other codes in Ireland are luring kids at school and local level and at 14 yo. The AFL presently offers a fairly complementary option.

You'd think too that guys who have come over and spent a couple of years even if just on a 'working holiday' on a rookie list somewhere - would not just return to Ireland as better players, but, perhaps as better future coaches.

Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Wednesday, August 25 2010 @ 09:34 pm ACST

Have been some rumours around this year that Clarke will come back to Collingwood, the AFL's list rule changes last week have seen the chatter on this bring it around again. Apparently he was very emotionally torn last year when he left Collingwood - and may certainly be regretting it somewhat more now given their 2010 form. His presence would obviously help both these guys when they come over.

As for others going to play Gaelic, I beleive Richmond were going to look at getting some guys who perhaps couldnt quite make it at AFL level for various reasons to go and give it a go, not sure if that happened.

Also saw a rumor about that Conor Meredith has been made an offer to go to the GC Suns. He has been playing some good games at North Melbourne's feeder club but hasn't been on the long list of kids that the Kanga's have blooded this year.

Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 12:37 pm ACST

I think this clearly demonstrates again that there will be the haves and the have nots in the future. It's a way the wealthier clubs can gain an edge over their rivals, by modestly investing in international talent. Contrast it with the strugglers - some have found a way to dip their toe in, others have chosen not to. Perhaps when they start losing games to teams with 3 or 4 internationals they will realise that it is a key recruitment tool, part of core business, not a boutique endeavour.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Collingwood sign up two more Irish recruits
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 01:09 pm ACST

For clubs though that can't afford to go too far international - - i.e. shipping kids in from Ireland - - one would assume that there'll be 'cheaper' options more local, i.e. South Pacific, as well as the 'multi-cultural' options - given the AFL has loosened the 'international rookie' definition to include 'recent arrivals'.

A club like North Melbourne may not be able to be 'little Dublin', but, could be 'little Suva' or 'little Sudan'.