Monday, July 03 2006 @ 05:48 am ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Irishman Colm Begley was today elevated from the Brisbane Lions rookie list to its senior list. Brisbane has suffered a large number of injuries this season, and the injury to Justin Leppitsch and his subsequent retirement has created a vacancy on the senior list. Begley, who was recruited from Gaelic football, only came to Australian Rules football in December. He has quickly adapted to the game, given a start in the Lions team in the NAB cup preseason competition where he did not look out of place.
We also briefly review the other Irishmen of the AFL, and Englishman Brad Moran.
Begley has been playing in the AFLQ with the Suncoast Lions and has been impressive there throughout the season, mostly playing on a half back flank. If he is selected to play his first match for premiership points in the coming weeks it will be an amazing effort and rewrite the theory of developing young athletic talents new to our game. A development that will not go unnoticed by other clubs looking to boost their own lists.
Additional reporting by Brett Northey:
In other news of the Irish, Carlton's big man Setanta O'hAilpin played his third senior match for Carlton on Saturday, in their narrow loss to Brisbane. In a change of role he played mostly in the backline where he had been trialled recently in the VFL. The rangey Irishman (also with Fijian heritage) looked much more comfortable than in his other appearance earlier this year. Hopefully he'll get the rest of the season in the Blues side to gain some confidence and show whether he has what it takes to make it at the highest level. Meanwhile his younger brother Aisake has had a very good year with the Northern Bullants in the VFL reserves, three times named his side's best player - he looks poised to step up to the VFL seniors in 2007.
Englishman Brad Moran continues his Aussie Rules education also in the VFL. He picked up the sport in his mid-teens while living on the Gold Coast (Queensland) after his family migrated to Australia. North Melbourne drafted him with pick 58 in 2004 and he spent 2005 playing for the reserves of their VFL feeder team Port Melbourne. This year the Kangaroos have an arrangement with the Tasmanian side in the VFL, and Moran has had a solid year in the seniors. The 200 cm key position / ruckman was given Wayne Carey's number 18 - impossible boots to fill. He put on 15 kg in his first full year, and still yet to turn 20, one would expect he'll have at least 2007 to keep developing and get his first chance at an AFL match.
Of course Sydney Swans star Tagdh Kennelly continues to impress each week as a key rebounding member of the reigning premier's defence. He spent around 18 months at the Swans learning the trade before making his debut in 2001, and has now racked up 111 games, including last year's Grand Final. There has been talk that the 25 year old will return to Ireland but it seems likely Sydney will have him for a few more years yet.