The inter-County scene has long been home to several high profile stars that are now plying trade in the Australian Football League (AFL). With the Aussie Rules season currently been played let’s take a look at Irish players that are playing the game at present.
1. Zach Tuohy (Geelong) – Laois man Tuohy has been in Australia for 10 years now. Tuohy played for the Carlton Blues from 2010 to 2016. Making over 120 appearances for the side. He has been playing with Geelong since 2017 and has made 66 appearance thus far. The 30 year old Portlaoise is settled in Australia and is obviously enjoying his time playing AFL. Tuohy played in the opening round this weekend in his sides 105 to 73 loss to the GWS Giants. Tuohy got on plenty of ball but couldn’t influence a game in which the GWS Giants dominated from start to finish.
2. Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast Sun’s) – The Mayo man just like Tuohy is well settled in Australia now. Hanley played for the Brisbane Lions from 2008 to 2016 making nearly 130 appearances for the club. He has since moved to the Gold Coast Sun’s. He has made 32 appearances since 2017. The Ballaghaderreen native picked up the Marcus Ashcroft Medal in 2014.
3. Colin O’Riordan (Sydney Swans) – O’Riordan signed for the club in 2015. However, the Tipperary man had to bide time before he was given his debut which came in 2018. He signed a two year contract extension and will remain at the club till the end of the season 2021. At present he has made 13 appearances for the club.
4. Conor McKenna (Essendon) – McKenna is now back in the fold in Essendon having took a short break home to Co Tyrone in the pre season. The 23 year old has already made 75 appearances for the club. He has been at the club since 2015. It is likely he will return to Tyrone at some stage given his age but he has still a lot to give to the side known as the Bombers.
5. James Madden (Brisbane Lions) – Dublin man Madden was drafted in 2018 by the Lions. He has yet to make his debut but has played in the NEAFL in 2019. It will likely be another year before he makes his full debut for the Lions.
6. Anton Tohill (Collingwood) – Tohill signed for the Magpies in 2018 in the draft. He has yet to make his debut for the side. He is the son of former Derry midfielder Anthony. Tohill is a super talent and is still learning his trade but he is likely to make a debut next season.
7. Darragh Joyce (St Kilda) – The Kilkenny man is enjoying life in the AFL. He made his debut in 2018 against Melbourne. He has plenty more games to be played that’s for sure. The 22 year old though may come back to his beloved Kilkenny in a few years to come as hurling will always be his first love for sure.
8. Stefan Okunbur (Geelong) – Things have gone to plan for Okunbur as he suffered an achilles tendon injury while training for Geelong back in January. He has since undergone surgery. He will likely be out until next season at the very least.