Kildare relief as Brophy puts AFL switch on hold
KILDARE have lost some promising underage football talent to Aussie Rules but Paddy Brophy will not be one of them -- for the coming season at least.
The Celbridge teenager, who turns 20 in February, has been scouted by several AFL clubs and is mulling over offers. But he confirmed yesterday that he is staying in Ireland for 2014 at least.
"I want to stay (at home) for another year and I have college in Maynooth as well," the business and accounting student said.
"There's a few clubs in touch but nothing major. But I will definitely be staying with Kildare for this year."
Brophy was part of an underage Irish 'combine' team that played an AFL academy selection in London in February but didn't attend Tadhg Kennelly's latest trials last week.
The Lilywhites have just lost Daniel Flynn to the AFL and another of last year's U-21 stars, Sean Hurley, has been over on trial and is expected to switch codes in the coming 12 months.
Kildare lost Paul Cribbin to Collingwood when he was straight out of school but he has since returned and was, like Brophy, one of the U-21s who broke into their senior team last year.
Brophy has consulted with Cribbin, Flynn and Longford's Michael Quinn regarding a possible future in Australia.
Former boss Kieran McGeeney fast-tracked many underage stars into Kildare's senior team last year; they went well until the wheels came off to Dublin in the Leinster Championship.
But Brophy says they cannot use their youth as an excuse.
"Dublin won the All-Ireland with a very young team so it can be done," he said. "Maybe some of the experienced lads are gone but it is up to us to step up and bring it forward now for Kildare football."
Kildare and Tyrone were the only two teams to beat Dublin last year -- the Lilywhites did it in the final of the O'Byrne Cup. The sides are in different groups for the 2014 round-robin stage which starts on January 5. Westmeath host Dublin on the first day as Kildare entertain Athlone IT.