Kilkenny: I couldn't pass up AFL chance
THE GAA's latest big-name recruit to Aussie Rules, Ciaran Kilkenny, says the chance to become a professional athlete was a golden opportunity he couldn't refuse.
The dual star, who won an All-Ireland U-21 medal with Dublin footballers this year, will begin his AFL stint next month when his new club Hawthorn start pre-season training.
"This is not a decision I reached lightly but the opportunity to experience a different culture, test myself in a new code and live the life of a professional athlete is one I could not pass up," he explained.
"Obviously there are no guarantees in sport of any nature and I appreciate the challenge that lies ahead. I realise that I have been very fortunate in that I have been assisted by many people along the way and would like to thank and recognise them as I embark upon this new football journey."
Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly said Kilkenny was a "big loss" to his plans, while new football boss Jim Gavin rates the Castleknock man highly after working with him during this year's march to U-21 glory.