Setanta a jolly Giant
Monday, November 28 2011 @ 10:16 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
Unlike most AFL drafts where all the talk is about who will get the best young talent and who will go at number 1, this year with GWS Giants holding all the aces much of the focus was on whether ex-Carlton Irish-Fijian-Australian Setanta O'hAilpin would find a new home. Reportedly a cheer went around the room when GWS took Setanta at pick 79.
The media was quick to interview the passionate player, who at 199cm and 98kg is expected to help "protect" the young players in the Giants' first AFL season. It also seems that some are just discovering that this particular Irishman was actually born in Bankstown, near the Giants' heartland.
For some of the many articles about his move to GWS, see GWS draftee Setanta O'hAilpin confesses West Sydney origins (not sure why it's a "confession"), O'hAilpin over the Blues and ready to be a Giant among boys and Giants pick 'big leprechaun' Setanta O'hAilpin.
Currently on 80 AFL games, hopefully the move to New South Wales will give Setanta the opportunity to become what we think would be the 4th "Irish experiment" player to play 100 VFL/AFL games, after Jim Stynes, Tadhg Kennelly and Sean Wight, noting of course the late Sean Wight's Scottish heritage and O'hAilpin's Australian birth. Of course other Irishmen have played senior footy across Australia, but would not be considered part of the "Irish experiment" in which VFL/AFL clubs actively recruited them from Gaelic football or hurling in Ireland.