Internationals playing in Australia as season gets underway
Thursday, April 07 2016 @ 10:20 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Preseason is over and it's time to get serious, we take a look at the Internationals plying their footy trade across Australia from the AFL, VFL, WAFL and more. And wait there is more, we also have Internationals in the VWFL and two Americans playing in the curtain raiser at the SCG this Saturday.
In the AFL on Friday night Zach Tuohy (Ireland) became the fifth code crosser to play 100 AFL games. After being picked up in the 2010 Rookie Draft, Tuohy was elevated to the club’s senior list during the 2011 season and made his debut against Port Adelaide in Round 11, 2011. He has become a fixture in Carlton’s backline (and named in the Coaches Association All-Australian Team in 2015) is a vital link up player and zone buster with his accurate long kicking and dash out of the backline.
In his 100th match which Carlton lost by 60 points Tuohy was caught up in a melee when he reacted angrily after he was slung to the ground by Buddy Franklin. Tuohy was cited by the match review panel and has accepted a $1000 sanction for engaging in a melee (along with team mate Sam Rowe and Luke Parker, Dan Hannebery and Buddy Franklin from the Swans all receiving the same fine).
Ciaran Byrne (Ireland) was named in the 24 man squad on Thursday for the match but didn’t make the final cut for the match day 22 he looks set to play for Carlton this weekend. Ciaran Sheehan (Ireland) is currently listed as injured and likely to miss the next two-three weeks with a hip injury.
The other international rookie at Carlton is Matt Korcheck (USA) and he may make his VFL debut this weekend for the Northern Blues after being named on an extended bench. Former New York Magpies ruckman Alex Aurricchio (USA) was this week named in the Northern Blues 2106 leadership group at the club’s season launch but will miss Round 1 due to injury.
Sydney’s lone international rookie Colin O’Riordan (Ireland) wearing the number 38 made his NEAFL debut for the Sydney Swans Reserves against the Brisbane Lions Reserves in Burpengary (Qld) last weekend. O’Riordan had 14 disposals and 4 marks in the Swan’s 122-point win.
The man who formerly wore the number 38, Mike Pyke (Canada) will complete a lap of honour at half-time of Sydney Derby IX at the SCG on Saturday following his retirement at the end of 2015. Pyke will be accompanied by Adam Goodes who also retired last year.
Up at the Gabba Pearce Hanley (Ireland) was on the receiving end of a strike from North Melbourne’s Shaun Atley last weekend. Named best player for the Lions, Hanley is back fit and firing after an injury plagued 2015 but his Brisbane Lions went down by 34 points to North Melbourne. Hanley had 24 disposals and kicked 3 behinds for the match. His brother Cian (Ireland) missed all of the 2015 season with an ACL injury that he had when he arrived at the club. This season he is out of action again with a groin problem that has him looking unlikely to take the field for much of 2016.
Collingwood evened the ledger to 1-1 on Friday night against Richmond in the AFL and Mason Cox (USA) watched on from the sidelines. He will have his chance to impress in the Magpies reserves as a tall forward/ruckman when VFL Round 1 gets underway at 11:40am this Sunday (AEST) against Port Melbourne. For those in Victoria Channel 7 will show the match LIVE from 11:30am and replay nationally on 7Mate at 1am AEST on Tuesday April 12th (check your local guides).
Cox will not be the only international in the VFL this weekend. Conor McKenna (Ireland) at Essendon Football Club is likely to be playing against Werribee on Saturday. Jason Holmes (USA) will play with Sandringham against the Box Hill Hawk’s Kurt Heatherley (NZ) with both looking to press their case for AFL selection as early as possible this season. Geelong’s Padraig Lucey (Ire) will have to wait until the following weekend for his season debut in the VFL with the Cat’s having the bye in Round 1.
Joe-Baker Thomas (NZ) continues his International Scholarship with St Kilda and will line up in Sandringham’s VFL Development League team this weekend. JBT will be hoping to step up and play some senior footy for the Zebras this season.
In the West Paddy Brophy (Ireland) had 14 possessions and one mark in defence for East Perth in the WAFL and does not look close to a debut with the West Coast Eagles at this stage. After a great pre-season Sean Hurley (Ireland) at Fremantle has his own problems in the form of a hip injury that will see him out for the next 10-12 weeks.
Two players named in our 2015 World Team
of the year also continue to play on in Victoria. Best on ground in the IC14 Grand Final at the MCG John Ikupu (PNG) will again line up for Euroa in the Goulburn Valley Football League. And Ireland’s captain and player of the tournament from IC14 Michael Finn (Ire) will again play for Heidelberg in the Northern Football League in Melbourne, the 34 year old veteran telling us recently via Twitter “one more year”.
Another star of IC14, this time from Ireland’s women’s team the Banshees, also takes the field this weekend in Round 2 of the VFL Women’s league. Laura Corrigan will line up in the ruck for Diamond Creek against the competition favourites the Darebin Falcons. Corrigan was named joint player of the tournament at IC14 (along with Canada’s Aimee Legault who is currently back in Canada).
But it is two Americans that will have the longest trip for a game of footy this week as Kim Hemenway (from New York Magpies) and Katie Klatt (Sacramento Suns) have flown into Sydney to play in the women’s curtain raiser match at the SCG. Both players are part of the NSW Academy Squad after impressing at the Talent Combine in Sydney in March.
This Saturday’s at 1.40pm (AEST) they will play on opposing teams and will be striving to earn selection for the NSW squad that takes on South Australia on June 5 at Adelaide Oval and ultimately to play in the inaugural AFL women’s competition in 2017.
We want to hear of any other internationals playing in Australia in the 2016 season. If you know of any let us know in the comments below, via email firstname.lastname@example.org , on Twitter @worldfooty or on our Facebook page.
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