The talent drain continues with another high profile departure from Gaelic games confirmed today on the Dublin GAA website.
Ciaran Kilkenny has signed what looks to be a two year contract for east Melbourne club Hawthorne, rather than Carlton Blues who he had been linked with for almost tow years.
Kilkenny burst onto the Dublin GAA scene as a first year minor for the Dublin footballers in 2010 before starring for both the hurlers and the footballers of 2011 as both teams reached and lost All-Ireland finals. He was then integrated immediately into the under-21 squad that tasted All-Ireland glory in 2012 before getting the call up from Pat Gilroy for the Senior’s 2012 championship campaign.
Dublin legend Dessie Farrell says, “it’s great for Ciaran but it’s a big loss for Dublin.”
“To be identified and hand picked by a team in another code is a huge honour for him and he deserves great credit for that. It’s a testament to who he carries himself and how he conducts himself and I can only wish him the very best”
Kilkenny follows a long list of GAA stars like Tadhg Kennelly, Setanta O hAilpin, Colm Begley, Marty Clarke, Pearce Hanley, Niall Mckeever and Tommy Walsh in the ever growing exodus to Australia’s sunny shores and the promise of a career as a professional athlete.
Farrell called has referred to today’s news as “a sad day for Dublin football” but perhaps he should have said that it was a said day for the GAA in general.
Kilkenny, who won this year’s Cadbury’s Hero of the Future award (the Under-21 footballer of the year equivalent), kicked three points from play in Dublin’s semi-final loss to Mayo in August in a very impressive display as the young Castleknock man deputised for the injured Alan Brogan.
At just 19 years of age, Kilkenny had an extremely bright career ahead of him only to be lured away from home and the GAA by the AFL. This marks not only a sad day for Dublin GAA but a worrying day for the GAA, as once more fans will lose out on an opportunity to view big talents perform in Croke Park.