Brisbane Lions Irish star Pearce Hanley celebrates his 50th AFL match this weekend against the Gold Coast Suns.
The 23-year-old defender has been a stand-out for the Lions in 2012 earning praise from coach and commentator alike.
The Mayo-man is now the AFL’s pre-eminent Irish player, forcing his way into the top 60 individual rankings for total disposals.
He recorded a career high of 34 disposals in the Lions recent defeat to the Sydney Swans.
He has been compared to the Premiership-winning former Swans star Tadhg Kennelly.
Hanley recently remarked that he had studied the former Sydney defender’s game during his own debut season in 2008.
“When I was in my first year, I used to always watch Tadhg’s tapes and try to base my game on his,” Hanley said. “I’m playing a different role at the moment, but I still like to carry the ball like he did.”
While Hanley rides high for the Lions, Down-man Marty Clarke is struggling at Collingwood.
Clarke has been dropped for the Pies clash with Hawthorn this weekend after registering only nine disposals against Geelong last week.
In Sydney, Tommy Walsh has once again been named in an extended Swans squad for the SCG clash with his former club St Kilda on Sunday. The Kerryman has been struggling to get back into the first team after making his AFL debut against the Melbourne Demons in May.
Walsh will find out this evening if he is to be included in the final 22.
Elsewhere, Zach Tuohy remains on the sidelines with a back injury at Carlton.