Ireland name squads to compete in AFL 'World Cup'
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.
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