National Forum

Irish And The AFL

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Replying To togoutlads:  "Oh I'm not embarrassing myself, my friend, and there are many people involved in the club and county scene here and in other counties that think the very same. Soccer, Rugby, Basketball and many other sports put the underage coaching effort in here in Ireland - so they're at least entitled to pitch for a super young player's attention and perhaps sole dedication to their particular code. AFL on the other hand put zero money into Ireland and zero effort into younger players development, they just swoop in and pick 'em when they're ready. You may think losing one player for a given county is no big deal but I assure you, it can have massive repercussions - for example, many people that know the man will tell you that if Pearce Hanley had played for Mayo, they would have landed an All Ireland in at least one of their finals in 2012, 13, 16, 17, 20 or 21. Hanley was the outstanding underage talent in Mayo at the time and had the electric pace that separates some very elite IC players from the rest. Hanley was an underage football sensation and was playing only his 2nd match for Mayo seniors - as an 18 year old - when the AFL swooped in straight after that match. Mayo management watched it happen. Hanley went as an 18 yo to Australia, played 13 seasons and 169 games in the AFL, which is absolutely remarkable in a savage sport where careers last 6 years on average, due largely to recurring injury. He's just behind Jim Stynes, Zach Tuohy and Tadhg Kennelly for Irish players that played the most AFL games. And fair play to him for his achievements there but he never won a grand final there. You can say all the what ifs ye like but Hanley would absolutely have been the difference in some of those one point defeats for Mayo and would have helped win that county an All Ireland. But hey, well spotted AFL scouts. History changers!"
Ar least 1 Roscommon man was saved the disgrace and indignity of playing for Mayo.
Thank you AFL.
As for the AFL "swooping" and taking talented footballers away..... tough and there's nothing we can do about it unless we make promising lads sign contracts and pay them.
That won't be happening.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1143 - 16/10/2023 18:57:25    2508725