Fermanagh’s Blaithín Bogue signs AFLW deal with North Melbourne FC

Fermanagh footballer Blaithin Bogue
Antrim v Fermanagh - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Championship Final Fermanagh's Blaithin Bogue has joined the North Melbourne Kangaroos for the 2024 AFLW season (Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Fermanagh footballer Blaithin Bogue has joined the North Melbourne Kangaroos for the 2024 AFLW season.

Bogue’s signing completes a fab four of Irish talent on the books of the 2023 Grand Final runners-up.

Cork’s Erika O’Shea, Tipperary’s Niamh Martin and Meath’s Vikki Wall are already established on the Kangaroos playing list.

The 2024 AFLW season kicks-off on the last weekend of August but the majority of players are expected to be available for pre-season training in June.

A date for the Grand Final has not yet been confirmed but early December is in contention for the season decider

“We are excited to offer Blaithin our final list spot for the upcoming season,” North Melbourne AFLW list manager Flynn Loft said.

“Blaithin has strong athletic traits that will translate well to AFLW and stood out across her performances for Fermanagh, with her ability to set up play in the forward half and consistently hit the scoreboard.

“We can’t wait to welcome her into the program.”

The Erne County star was the player of the match in Fermanagh’s 2022 All-Ireland loss to Antrim after a replay.

In 2019, former Fermanagh captain Joanne Doonan made history when she became the first woman from the North to sign professionally for an Australian rules club until the global Covid pandemic disrupted her plans.  

The former Carlton player was delisted by Essendon at the end of the 2023 season and returned to the GAA.

In other AFLW news, Leitrim-born Dublin footballer Eilish O’Dowd, has joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants. 

A record 33 Irish players played in the AFLW last season, but that figure is likely to be trumped with the possibility of more recruitment from the GAA in the coming weeks and months.

Donegal footballer Amy Boyle-Carr was the first Ulster born player to sign for an AFLW club in the off-season when she signed a contract for the 2024 season for the Adelaide Crows as a replacement for retired Glenfin woman Yvonne Bonner.