Irish AFL round-up: Callum Brown faces a mountain to climb to get back into GWS Giants team

Former Derry minor Callum Brown was dropped from the Greater Western Sydney Giants side last week

Callum Brown played a central role GWS Giants' AFL Finals win over Port Adelaide on Saturday
Callum Brown will be fighting for his place in the GWS Giants side

FORMER Derry underage footballer Callum Brown faces an uphill task to regain and keep his place in the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team after being axed last week. 

The Limavady man was in career-best form earlier this season after starting the new campaign like an express train when he booted a bag of five goals against reigning premiers Collingwood in the opening round of the season in March. 

But after serving a three-match suspension for an ugly bump on Sydney Swans defender Tom McCartin in May, Brown returned from “the toughest period of my career” to find himself no longer a first-choice in the Giants forward line after several below-par performances.

Coach Adam Kingsley relegated Brown to the VFL for last week’s 21-point loss to Carlton in Blacktown.

Brown finished with a respectable 18 disposals, two goals, five marks, and two clearances, but he was overshadowed by teammates Jacob Wehr, Conor Stone, James Leake, and Ryan Angwin.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16: Callum M. Brown of the Giants celebrates kicking a goal with team mates during the round 14 AFL match between Greater Western Sydney Giants and Port Adelaide Power at ENGIE Stadium, on June 16, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)
Callum M. Brown of the Giants celebrates kicking a goal with team mates during the round 14 AFL match between Greater Western Sydney Giants and Port Adelaide Power. PICTURE: Brendon Thorne/AFL Photos/via Getty Images (Brendon Thorne/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The fab four of GWS talent were all singled out by Giants VFL coach Wayne Cripps as players “banging down the door (to AFL selection).” 

Brown didn’t rate a mention which could be telling with just seven rounds of the season remaining before finals.

The Giants in eighth on the season ladder, are only a win and a draw outside of the top four, but they will likely have to win all of their remaining matches to push for a double chance of winning the premiership in September. 

In other news, the AFL has confirmed that next year’s ‘Gather Round’ of fixtures when all matches are played in South Australia will be staged from April 10-13.

The AFL is pushing to host an inaugural Australia versus Ireland compromise rules series match featuring Irish women in AFLW during Gather Round or even an Australia versus Ireland women’s match under AFL rules. 

One Irish woman who could be involved is Tipperary’s Anna Rose Kennedy, who has been named by leading AFLW journalists as one of the potential stars of the 2024 AFLW season.

Kennedy who played football for Aherlow and camogie for Limerick club Galbally, made her AFLW debut for Geelong in last year’s preliminary final loss to Brisbane. 

On Saturday, the Melbourne Demons will celebrate 30 years of the late Jimmy Stynes’s Reach Foundation. The Irish AFL legend co-founded Reach in 1994 to empower young people through personal development workshops.