Hope Of The Irish
Friday, January 22 2016 @ 09:19 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The following article from Ben Guthrie at the www.afl.com.au website looks at the hopes of another Irish talent and their quest to reach the highest levels of AFL football in Australia as the drive to find the finest women’s talent gathers speed.
SINEAD O'Mahony hopes she can follow in the footsteps of fellow Irish products Tadgh Kennelly and Jim Stynes and become a trailblazer for the national women's AFL competition.
The 26-year-old primary school teacher, a 2015 Gaelic Athletic Association Dublin County team member, recently moved to Australia and turned her attention to tackling a new sport.
O'Mahony will join around 140 other players trying out in the inaugural female football national talent search at the Whitten Oval in Melbourne's west.
Those identified during the talent search will be offered places in female state academies as the AFL moves closer to establishing a national competition in 2017.
"Any player who is quite serious about their sport wants to get to the highest standard they can," O'Mahony told AFL.com.au.
"I can't believe there's been this push for a female competition in 2017 and if the (talent scouts) like what they see tomorrow (Saturday) I would definitely be up for it."
O'Mahony's father hails from Kerry, a county she jokingly refers to as the kingdom of GAA football, so she is well aware of Kennelly's exploits.
The champion Irishman played 197 games for the Sydney Swans and was a key part of the club's 2005 drought-breaking premiership.
After putting his AFL career on hold, Kennelly returned home to Kerry in 2009 and helped his county win that year's All-Ireland final.
Kennelly is the only player to win both an AFL premiership and an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
"Tadgh came over with a similar skill set and he obviously brought something new and something different, and I hope I can do that too," O'Mahony said.
"It is great to see there have been guys from Ireland who have come over and played and done so well.
"If he (Kennelly) can do it, I can do it."
To read the rest of this article, visit the AFL’s website at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-01-22/irishwoman-hopes-to-emulate-stynes-kennelly