Irish finish last session under an open roof

Catherine Murphy

Ireland have completed their last training session ahead of the International Rules first test in Melbourne at Etihad stadium.

And while they trained with the roof open, on Friday night it will be closed – a part of the game that Irish manager Anthony Tohill would love changed.

“Obviously we would rather if the roof was open and it was howling a gale and pissing out of the heavens,” Tohill laughed.

“But it’s a great place to play. It’s great for us to get to play in a closed arena and a wonderful place for us to play football.”

Irish vice-captain Ciaran McKeever said the biggest challenge facing the Irish was fending off the full-bodied tackle and in doing so increasing chances of six-pointers.

“Just going on the last series I think that in front of nets we let ourselves down,” McKeever said.

“We play with a round football but we never got as many overs as we would have liked.

While the Irish manager referred to the staggered arrival of the squad and the unavailability of players for training due to club commitments as a “soap opera”, he said the is satisfied at the squad he now has at his disposal.

“I think we’ve got a good squad … we’ve got a nice blend of guys with AFL experience as well,” he said.