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Aussies name 'exciting' 33 for Rules tests

THE Australian Football League has announced an extended squad of 33 players ahead of the International Rules Series to be staged in Breffni Park, Cavan, and Croke Park in October.

The playing list, which will be cut down to 21 after the AFL Grand Final, has no shortage of star power.

Two of the AFL's superstars were on hand for yesterday's announcement with both Sydney Swans' Adam Goodes and Hawthorn's Lance Franklin pledging to travel to Ireland.

As revealed exclusively in the Herald, the Australian camp will have Irish expertise with Tadhg Kennelly unveiled as an assistant coach to work with former team-mate and head coach Michael O'Loughlin. Rodney Eade, Andrew McLeod and Alan Richardson will also join the coaching panel.

AFL general manager of football operations Mark Evans said: "The series is a fantastic opportunity for the indigenous All-Stars to come together and represent Australia for the first time in the International Rules series against Ireland."

 

PAIN TO DRIVE KERRY: JACK

JACK O'CONNOR reckons the pain of losing an All-Ireland title that "Kerry should have won" may drive his former charges to surprise victory over Dublin in this Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

The three-time All-Ireland winning boss, who stepped down from the Kingdom hotseat last season, has never watched a rerun of the 2011 All-Ireland during which Kerry surrendered a four-point lead to the Sky Blues in the home straight.

"I have that game taped on Sky Plus. I have never watched it and I don't think I ever will. It's too painful. I can imagine what it's like for the players," O'Connor said.

"Whatever about being slighted, the big motivation for these fellas is that they will feel Dublin have an All-Ireland that Kerry should have."

 

BAKER QUITS

OFFALY are on the lookout for a new hurling manager after Ollie Baker stepped down last night.

The former Clare midfield powerhouse had indicated that he was in discussions about extending his Faithful stay but a statement last night confirmed his resignation.

"Ollie Baker is a man of the highest integrity and while an extremely formidable negotiator on behalf of his players, it was always in an environment of openness and honesty," said county board chairman Padraig Boland.


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