Thursday 20 October 2016

Tipp's Colin O'Riordan dares to dream of full-time career after making Aussie Draft list

Michael Verney

Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30

Colin O'Riordan was named EirGrid U-21 Footballer of the Year in 2015
Colin O'Riordan was named EirGrid U-21 Footballer of the Year in 2015

Tipperary's Colin O'Riordan feels the opportunity to become a professional sportsman would be too good to turn down after being selected for the Australian Football League Draft Combine next month.

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The 19-year-old is at the forefront of a football revolution in the Premier County, having led them to an U-21 All-Ireland final this year, and while no offers have been made, his departure would be a huge blow.

However, the dual All-Ireland minor winner thinks he'd be crazy to pass up a contract offer and he cannot wait to pit his skills against other AFL prospects.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn't say no to doing something that I love for a living. I would absolutely jump at the chance," the JK Brackens clubman told the Irish Independent.

"When you wake in the morning you want to be going to do something you love, and it's the ultimate dream to be a professional sportsman and get paid to play."

The 19-year-old, along with Kilkenny's Darragh Joyce, will visit Melbourne for the rigorous four-day camp from October 8-11, where all 18 Premiership clubs will monitor their progress.

Ciarán Kilkenny, John Heslin and Daniel Flynn all recently turned their backs on potentially lucrative AFL contracts to return home but O'Riordan says he would give it everything.

"Of course you're going to miss home but you only get this opportunity once. You'd have to go out there with the attitude that you're setting up for life over there and this is where your future lies," he said.

"If you think you're going to give it a go for two years then you're inevitably going to fail."

The 2014 All Star nominee has taken part in several AFL trials under Tadhg Kennelly, and he is constantly trying to improve his skills with the oval ball.

Last year Tyrone's Conor McKenna took part in the Draft Combine and he has already debuted for Essendon.

Irish Independent

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