EX-CORK FOOTBALLER Ciaran Sheehan has drawn praise from the Northern Blues coach for his progress since switching to Australian Rules earlier this year.
23 year-old Sheehan, an All-Ireland winner with the Rebels in 2010, joined AFL side Carlton on a two-year contract in January but has been involved this season with Northern Blues, Carlton’s affiliate club in the Victorian Football League.
Northern Blues lost their fourth successive game in the league last Saturday after having won their opening three matches when the campaign began in April.
But Sheehan’s development was highlighted by coach Luke Webster in the aftermath of the game following Sheehan’s from attack to defence in recent weeks.
“He’s progressing really well,” Webster told the Melbourne Herald Sun.
“He’s a kid that really wants to soak up everything that he can get his hands on. We started him forward and now we’ve played him back and he’s been really good down there and made some really good decisions.
“He’s still continuing to learn and develop his own game but I thought (on Saturday) he defended really well and tried to give us some run and kicking skills off half-back.”
Sheehan previously spent four weeks during the summer of 2009 training with Carlton but opted not to sign with them full-time, citing homesickness as a key factor in his decision to return to pursue a career in the GAA.
He is one of three Irish players currently involved with the club along with Zach Tuohy of Laois and Ciaran Byrne of Louth.