PAUL Earley was confirmed as the new International Rules manager by GAA President Liam Ó Néill this morning and that this year’s first test will take place at an Ulster venue.
Ó Néill said the Association was delighted with Paul’s appointment and wished him every success in his new role.
He said: “I am delighted that someone of the standing and calibre of Paul Earley will lead the Irish challenge in the next series against Australia here in Ireland next Autumn.
“Not only is Paul hugely enthusiastic about the initiative and the opportunity that it affords Gaelic footballers, he has first hand experience of both the International Rules game and Aussie Rules itself having played with the Melbourne Demons.
“I wish him every success in the months ahead as he prepares to finalise a backroom team before assembling a squad that will attempt to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup later in the year.”
The first test will take place on October 19 at an Ulster venue which has yet to be decided with the second test taking place a week later at GAA headquarters.
Earley, a Michael Glavey’s clubman, who played in the series under Eugene McGee in 1987, went to Australia in 1983 and played in the then VFL before returning home in 1985.
He played for Roscommon between the years of 1981 and 1993, winning an All-Star in 1985 at full-forward, is the younger brother of the late, great Dermot Earley and is a current member of the GAA’s Football Review Committee.
An experienced Level II coach, Earley is also a highly regarded football analyst with Setanta.