In what has been a nightmare week for the AFL’s Irish recruits, Essendon has added to the international contingent’s woes confirming the delisting of Longford’s Michael Quinn.
Already this week Setanta Ó hAilpín (Carlton), Jamie O’Reilly (Richmond) and Chris McKaigue (Sydney Swans) have been delisted by their clubs.
However, in the case of Jamie O’Reilly, sources from the Tigers confirmed that it was the Downman’s decision to leave the club as he wishes to focus on his studies at home for the next 12 months.
Quinn’s departure marks a disappointing end to what was an impressive AFL career in the early stages.
Quinn made a precocious debut in just round two of his first season and went on to play six games in total including an elimination final. While season 2010 was less successful for the rookie playing just two senior games, he was awarded ‘Best and Fairest’ player for the club’s feeder side Bendigo. He failed to play a senior game in season 2011.
Meanwhile the AFL’s newest franchise Greater Western Sydney (GWS) could provide a career lifeline for one of Ireland’s delisted players. Draft concessions for the new club entitle it to sign any player who is delisted if they choose to do so without going through the draft meaning a player like Setanta Ó hAilpín could reignite his career in Sydney.
If GWS decide against signing any of the redundant AFL contingent, their only option is to go through the pre-season draft in the hope of being picked up by a new club.
Graeme Allan, general manager at GWS, has a history of recruiting Irish players having signed Colm Begley, Pearce Hanley and Niall McKeever during his tenure at the Brisbane Lions.
“We haven’t thought about it yet, we’ll wait until the (national) draft is over and also when all the delistings are complete at the end of October. Then we’ll look at what we’re doing,” Allan said.