Donegal’s Amy Boyle-Carr signs AFLW deal with Adelaide Crows while Ulster trio commit to Gold Coast

Donegal's Amy Boyle Carr has also played international soccer for the Republic of Ireland (Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Donegal footballer Amy Boyle-Carr has become the latest Irish woman to sign for an Australian rules club after agreeing to join Adelaide Crows.

The Glenties woman has signed a one-year rookie deal to play in the 2024 AFLW season where she will replace Glenfin’s Yvonne Bonner who recently announced her retirement.

Boyle-Carr is now the third Donegal player on the books of an AFLW club alongside Niamh McLaughlin (Gold Coast Suns) and Tanya Kennedy (Sydney).

The three-time Ulster champion for Donegal, who was the player of the match in the 2019 Ulster final, will fly 10,000 miles across the other side of the world at the end of the 2024 GAA season.

A true all-rounder, Boyle-Carr, 22, was only 17 when she was selected to represent Ireland at soccer in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against the Netherlands in 2018.

Crows Head of Women’s Football Phil Harper is thrilled to have secured Boyle-Carr’s services for next season.

“Amy is a dynamic athlete who is fast and agile, and has skills developed across two football codes that we think will translate well to AFLW,” Harper said.

“We were actually watching some vision of Yvonne Bonner ahead of the AFLW Supplementary Draft earlier this year and Amy kept catching our attention with her dashing runs.

“We love what the Irish players bring to our game, and we’ve had great success with the likes of Yvonne, Niamh Kelly (Mayo) and Ailish Considine (Clare) and recently Mark Keane (Cork) in our men’s program as well.

“We wanted to add some more speed and run to our squad and we think Amy has the physical attributes to play as a small forward, defender or even on the wing.

“We look forward to welcoming Amy and the Boyle-Carr family to our Club.”

In other news, the Gold Coast Suns have confirmed that Ulster trio Niamh McLaughlin, Tyrone’s Cara McCrossan, and Down’s Clara Fitzpatrick have all agreed to play on in season 2024.

Former Donegal skipper McLaughlin finished fourth on the Gold Coast Suns Best & Fairest count (end of season awards) in her debut season this year.

Last season’s LGFA Senior Player of the Year, and an Allstar winner, McLaughlin had a stellar debut season in the Suns midfield where she established herself as one of the team’s most consistent players across halfback.

 Niamh McLaughlin had a great first season with Gold Coast Suns
Niamh McLaughlin had a great first season with Gold Coast Suns

The Suns finished in fifth place on the season ladder, just a draw out of the top four positions, and lost their home elimination final to the Sydney Swans, after qualifying for the play-offs for the first time in their history.

Over in the West, former Armagh football star Amy Mulholland has also signed up for the 2024 season for the Fremantle Dockers who didn’t make the finals this year.

Mulholland (30) who was famously moved to tears when she was drafted on live television by the West Australian outfit last year, has spent the past two seasons at the Dockers.

Meanwhile, Joanne Doonan (29) has so far not been recruited by another AFLW club after being delisted by the Essendon Bombers this year.

The former Fermanagh captain made history in 2019 when she became the first woman from Ulster to sign professionally for an Australian Rules club until the global Covid pandemic disrupted her plans.

The former Carlton player only played two games for Essendon this year and is undecided as to whether she will return to the GAA next year.