Leahy backs Shields to be an AFL success

November 01, 2007
Cork's 2007 All-Ireland under 21 football winning manager Tony Leahy has backed Michael Shields to be a success in Australian Rules. Shields, who was a key member of both the Cork under 21 and senior teams this year, flew out to Melbourne on Wednesday for a three-week trial with top AFL side Carlton Blues. It's understood that Shields, who has played in every defensive position for the Rebels, is being earmarked for a new role in Australian Rules which is suited to athletic ball-carriers who can operate at speed on the wing. And Leahy is in doubt that he would be highly effective in such a role. "He'd be ideal, he's a big strong boy, he looks after himself well and that kind of attacking game would suit him." Leahy, who has handed over the under 21 managerial reins to John Cleary for the coming year, points to Shields' influence as a big factor in Cork's All-Ireland final victory over Laois last May. "I don't think he'll have a problem adapting to a different game. He has the right attitude, and that's half the battle."

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