Thursday 21 September 2017

Australian Rules: Setanta set to stand with Giants

DAMIAN LAWLOR

JUST weeks after being dumped by Carlton Blues, Cork's Setanta ó hAilpín will be handed a chance to resurrect his AFL career by new Australian Rules franchise GWS Giants.

His move to the Giants will finally put to bed speculation about his returning to Cork to play for either Conor Counihan or Jimmy Barry-Murphy's senior football or hurling teams.

The Sunday Independent has learned ó hAilpín is to be officially unveiled as a Giants player on Thursday. Veteran coach and former Australian International Rules manager Kevin Sheedy is expected to take the former Na Piarsaigh dual star after he failed to attract any interest in trade week.

Sheedy has expressed an interest in the 28-year-old Cork man and the club expects to sign him in the coming days in a bid to help the club's young and physically light players.

It's understood that Sheedy is very impressed with the former Young Hurler of the Year's attitude and reckons AFL fans still haven't seen the best of him. His ball-winning abilities under pressure have also caught the coach's eye.

ó hAilpín played 80 games for the Blues, booting 67 goals. He showed remarkable resilience to bounce back from a career-threatening disciplinary blip when he booted team-mate Cameron Cloke in the backside during a heated pre-season training match.

He can look forward to playing in a purpose-built Aus$27.5m facility that boasts two first-class AFL/Cricket Ovals. The main arena has a capacity for 10,000. And he joins ex-Cavan footballer Nicholas Walsh at the GWS outfit. Walsh recently started work at the club as their high performance coach. Sydney Swans had enquired about ó hAilpín during the trade period, but dropped their interest after signing Tommy Walsh.

Sunday Indo Sport

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