Irish International Begley hits the bigtime
Thursday, August 24 2006 @ 10:06 am ACST
Contributed by: Sean Finlayson
Begley was elevated to the senior list after a string of injuries to regular Lions players. His senior debut for the Lions against the West Coast Eagles included a stint manning up on AFL superstar Chris Judd. Begley's final statistics included 5 kicks, 2 handballs, an impressive 7 marks and 2 hitouts.
Unfortunately for both Begley and the Lions, the loss at home to West Coast is the latest blow for the once powerhouse AFL club which some months ago resolved itself to its second successive season outside of the finals since the club's four consecutive Grand Final appearances. These circumstances have, however, proved favourable for young players like Begley, providing plenty of opportunities to get valuable senior AFL experience toward at the tail end of the season.
While Colm looks set for a promising professional AFL career, he may find it tough sustaining a senior position at the Brisbane Lions due to competition with promising young local products such as Jason Roe and Scott Harding, although the retirement of key Lions premiership players have made helped make way for younger players like Begley.
Meanwhile rumours of Collingwood's signing of Irish international rookie Martin Clarke has also been confirmed by recent reports in The Age.
Of all of the AFL clubs this season, the recruitement of young Irish rookies would appear to be a key strategy of Brisbane Lions and Collingwood clubs, with both conducting several trials to identify talented Irish youngsters who are willing to make the move to Australia to play professional football. It is a strategy that has had mixed results, with several players flatly refusing lucrative offers to make the move and others returning due to homesickness. Overall, however, the ability of Begley, ? hAilp?n brothers, Kennelly and Stynes before him, many of the players who have come across have proved capable of competing at the highest level.