Brocagh-born Aussies Rules star Aidan Corr going for Grand Final glory on AFL's big day
HAD life panned out differently, Aidan Corr could have been pushing for a place in Mickey Harte’s Tyrone midfield – but instead he finds himself going for glory on the other side of the world.
Corr was only three when he swapped Brocagh for Australia with parents Raymond and Catherine, and siblings Elaine, Cathal and Izzie.
And in the early hours of tomorrow morning (5.30am start) he will feature for Great Western Sydney Giants when they take on Richmond Tigers in the Aussie Rules Grand Final at the famous MCG.
The Giants - who made their AFL bow in 2012 – will be contesting their first Grand Final against a club that has reached this stage 23 times, and were last crowned champions in 2017.
Not that 25-year-old Corr – who worked alongside former Cavan midfielder Nicholas Walsh when he was defence coach at the Giants - will be worrying too much about history as he bids to become the first Irishman to win the Grand Final since Kerry star Tadhg Kennelly in 2005.
The 6”5 defender has overcome injuries in recent years to become a cornerstone of this Giants side, and while a huge crowd will be packed into the MCG for tomorrow’s showpiece, there will also be plenty of interest back home.
“It’s some achievement,” says Brocagh clubman and family friend Kieran McKiver.
“Especially for that club and that group of players. Aidan was there from he was a lad, and about 20 or 30 of them came through together.
“We were out in Australia visiting a few years ago and, even then, there was other clubs on looking Aidan. He was just working his way back from injury at the time, but he wouldn’t take it.
“He’s enjoying it so much at the Giants; that bunch of lads are all best mates.”
And, according to McKiver, Corr’s athletic prowess didn’t come from nowhere as his father Raymond was also a talented Gaelic footballer and basketball player in his pomp.
“I’d say Raymond’s maybe 6”4 – we would’ve played midfield together for the club. He did the catching, I did the running!
“Me and Raymie met in our early teens and started playing football together, and it just continued on from there.
“Even when they were talking about going [to Australia], and they talked about it for maybe three or four years before they did it, we had looked to do it too but just hadn’t the notion at the time.
“Then one day they landed in our house and said ‘that’s us booked, we’re good to go’. Just like that. They went to Perth but didn’t like it, they were actually going to come home, but ended up in Melbourne and they’ve been there ever since.
“When we went out three years ago, we met up with Aidan at Bondi Beach one day; he’s a very down to earth lad, no airs or graces with him, just the same way Raymie and Catherine both are.”
The Giants pulled off a major upset by defeating hot favourites Collingwood to book their place in the decider, leaving them facing a date with destiny against the Tigers.
And while so much focus will be on tactics and preparation ahead of the game, McKiver hopes a simple connection with his home-place can help Corr and his team-mates across the line.
“They play in orange, the same as Brocagh,” he laughs, “hopefully that’s a good omen.”