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Bomber Quinn dreams of Ireland call-up for International Rules series

LONGFORD native and current Essendon Aussie Rules player Michael Quinn says it would be "a dream come true" to play for Ireland in this year's International Rules series but is by no means presuming that 2010 is the year that he will get to wear the green jersey.

"I think you have to be established and getting games consistently to get picked. Playing for Ireland is the next step," Quinn said.

"I think that the way things are going it's such a good opportunity for Gaelic footballers to play that they'll probably only pick one or two (Irish) Australian Rules players.

"I'd love to play at some stage. You don't get the chance to represent your country when you play Gaelic football and Australian Rules other than the International Rules series."

The 20-year-old made a speedy debut in his maiden season of 2009, breaking into senior ranks for the first time in round two.

He then went on to play five more games during the season including getting his place in the Bombers' side which played an elimination final against the Adelaide Crows, losing out to the South Australians by 96 points.

Regardless of whether he's involved in the Irish squad he hopes to be at home for both tests, the first being played at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on October 23 and the second to be played on October 30 at Croke Park.

"Either way it would be great to be at home when it's on and if I wasn't playing I would love to show the Essendon players who are over around Ireland," he said.

Since the announcement of the tour dates, Quinn's team-mates have had some questions for him regarding his allegiance should he not get picked to play with his native country.

"The boys were asking me at training if I didn't get picked for Ireland would I play for Australia, I said I definitely won't be doing that," he laughed.

Quinn insisted that his precocious debut last year doesn't mean that the pressure is off for season 2010. "I look at it the other way, as in the pressure is really on now. I'm expecting so much more from myself. The first year you're just seeing how it goes but that's all over and done with now, the hard work starts now," he said.

The Longford man kicked two goals in the six games he played in 2009 and has designs on holding down a place in the forward line.

Meanwhile, Tadhg Kennelly and Tommy Walsh could face up against each other next weekend as their respective team face off in the second round of the pre-season tournament NAB cup.

Kennelly's Sydney Swans beat Setanta O hAilpín's Carlton by 12 points at the new Blacktown venue. Kennelly impressed for the Harbour City club, but O hAilpín didn't line out for Carlton despite being named in the squad.

St Kilda beat Collingwood by one point to book their place in the second round but Walsh didn't play either despite also being named in the squad. He kitted out as one of the two substitutes which the NAB Cup allows.


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