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Sunderland puts GAA's Aaron Kernan through his paces

Aaron Kernan has been training with Sunderland

FORMER Armagh GAA star Aaron Kernan has been put through his paces at Sunderland FC in the latest stage of an unusual job swap.

The 30-year-old is training with Gus Poyet's Premier League soccer side for a TV programme, The Toughest Trade, which aims to compare the lives of amateur Gaelic players with professional athletes.

The Crossmaglen Rangers player posted a short video on Twitter which showed him taking part in a fitness 'beep' test.

The player, who was wearing a Sunderland training kit in the footage, tweeted: "Day One. Going through my fitness test at Sunderland's Academy of Light. Been an amazing experience."

Kernan is expected to return home today.

Sunderland already has a strong link with south Armagh. The club's chief executive, Margaret Byrne, is from Dromintee.

Last week, former England soccer international David Bentley spent several days training with Crossma-glen as part of the documentary.

He also played for the side against Silverbridge in a match in south Armagh on Wednesday evening.

The 30-year-old former Tottenham and Blackburn winger acquitted himself well and scored an impressive three points on his GAA debut.

As part of the swap of sporting codes, he also did some work at the Kernan family's estate agency business - Kernan Property Services - to get a flavour of how GAA players combine work and high-level sport.

Bentley retired from soccer last year citing disillusionment with the sport. Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrell is also taking part in the show.

He is training and playing with a Major League Baseball team in Florida as part of a swap with former catcher Brian Schneider.

The Toughest Trade will be shown on TV3 on March 9.

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