GAA Football

Ireland name squads to compete in AFL 'World Cup'

Members of the Irish Banshees squad who will compete in the AFL International Cup in Melbourne next month, l-r: Sarah O' Donovan, Emma Kelly, Colleen Quinn, Molly Cullen, Amanda Maginn, Laura Flannery,Aine Higgins, Olivia McCann, and Marie Keating.
Pic by Marie Keating

THE Australian Rules Football League Of Ireland has named their squads to take part in next month's sixth edition of the AFL International Cup in Australia, the sport's de facto World Cup.

Contested every three years in Melbourne by the best AFL national Teams outside of Australia, Ireland go into the event as second seeds in both the Men's and Women's Divisions, having lost in both Grand Finals in 2014.

Both squads will be led by Ulster natives - Melbourne Demons Women's AFL Star Laura Corrigan Duryea, originally from Cavan, will co-captain the Irish Banshees along with Onora Mulcahy from Cork, while the men's team, the Irish Warriors, will be skippered by Antrim's David McElhone.

He is one of five Ulstermen on that panel, while 14 Ulsterwomen make up almost half of the Banshees panel.

Both squad have selected the maximum allowable Australian-based players under tournament rules.

The men's team is coached by Brian Currane, with tournament veteran Mick Finn acting as Player/assistant coach.

The Irish Warriors, have twice won the event before, in 2002 and 2011, and face a difficult draw in Division One as they are due to meet reigning Champions Papua New Guinea, plus France, European Champions Great Britain, and New Zealand, who have never placed outside the top four and were winners in 2005.

Should the team be successful in the group stage they will qualify for a Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 19.

The Women's team, known as the Alfa Irish Banshees for sponsorship reasons, were winners of the inaugural edition of the event in 2011, and will be hoping to overcome Papua New Guinea, USA, and a continental Europe team in order to book a place in the finals where they could meet old rivals Britain and Canada.

The final of the Women's competition takes place at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on the evening of August 19.

Both teams will wear a special change strip in the competition honouring the memory of the late great Jim Stynes, who died tragically five years ago. Jim's younger brother David has played in both Ireland's winning teams in the past and will be involved again in the backroom team.

Irish Warriors:

Muiris Bartley (Cork) - Leeside Lions

Patrick Brennan (Derry) - UTS Bats, Sydney

Brendan Browne (Kerry) - UTS Bats, Sydney

Liam Burns (Dublin) - South Dublin Swans

Ciaran Caffrey (Dublin) - South Dublin Swans

Oisin Collins (Cork) - Leeside Lions

Murtagh Condron (Laois) - South Dublin Swans

Ronan Cull (Dublin) - South Dublin Swans

Michael Finn (Kerry) - Heidelberg, Melbourne

Domhnall Fogarty - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Dominic Joyce (Galway) - Leeside Lions

Brendan Kelly (Antrim) - Belfast Redbacks

Tim Kenneally (Cork) - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Darragh Leonard (Cork) - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Colin Lordan (Limerick) - Leeside Lions

Padraig Lucey (Kerry) - Newtown, Geelong

David McElhone (Antrim) - Belfast Redbacks

Robert McElhone (Antrim) - Yeppoon, Queensland

Paul Murphy (Cork) - Leeside Lions

Gavin Murray (Wicklow) - South Dublin Swans

Barry Murray - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Declan Nannery (Westmeath) - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Padraic O'Connell(Cork) - Leeside Lions

Fiachra O Deasmhunaigh (Cork) - Powerhouse, Melbourne

Paul O'Halloran (Carlow) - South Dublin Swans

Shane O'Sullivan (Kerry) - UCC Bombers

Mark Tubridy (Clare) - Karratha, Western Australia

Gerard Walls (Antrim) - Belfast Redbacks

Head Coach - Brian Currane (Clare)

Asst. Coaches - Michael Finn (Kerry), David Stynes (Dublin)

Team Trainer - Dean Ryan (Kildare)

Team Manager - Michael Currane (Clare)

Tour Manager - Paul Ryan

Alfa Irish Banshees

Claire Donnelly (Tyrone) - Ulster Kookaburras

Amanda Maginn (Down) - Ulster Kookaburras

Rachel McGee (Donegal) - Ulster Kookaburras

Sarah O'Donovan (Cork) - UCC Crusaders

Laura Flannery (Kerry) - Dublin Angels

Emma Kelly (Derry) - Ulster Kookaburras

Fiona Roarty (Donegal) - Ulster Kookaburras

Carolann Cassidy (Donegal) - Ulster Kookaburras

Olivia McCann (Armagh) - Ulster Kookaburras

Onora Mulcahy (Cork) - Wandsworth Demons, London

Laura Corrigan Duryea (Cavan) - Melbourne FC

Carol Breen (Waterford) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Niamh Hainsworth (Dublin) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Linda Connolly (Mayo) - Wandsworth Demons, London

Clara Fitzpatrick (Down) - Diamond Creek, Melbourne

Megan Creegan (Longford) - Sydney University

Molly Cullen (Wicklow) - Dublin Angels

Marie Keating (Limerick) - UCC Crusaders

Aisling Gillespie (Donegal) - Ulster Kookaburras

Rachel Fox (Sligo) - Perth Angels, Western Australia

Sandra Ryan (Tipperary) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Colleen Quinn (Tyrone) - Ulster Kookaburras

Gillian Behan (Kildare) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Emma Treanor (Galway) - UTS Shamrocks, SydneyÂ

Maebh Moriarty (Armagh) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Leona Russell (Donegal) - Ulster Kookaburras

Mine Higgins(Galway) - Galway Magpies

Deborah Geraghty (Dublin) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Christine McCutcheon (Cavan) - UTS Shamrocks, Sydney

Coaches: Tom Madigan, Roger Clarke, Brendan Kelly (Antrim)

Team Manager: Pat Leavy (Westmeath)

Tour Manager: Paul Ryan

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