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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 23 June, 2018

Two more young Gaelic footballers are on their way to the AFL

Paddy Brophy and Conor McKenna are heading Down Under.

Paddy Brophy Paddy Brophy lined out for Kildare in the championship this year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KILDARE FOOTBALLER Paddy Brophy and Tyrone player Conor McKenna are set to start careers in the AFL.

Melbourne-based AFL club Essendon have announced the signing of 18-year-old McKenna while the West Coast Eagles have signed 20-year-old Brophy.

Celbridge native Brophy is the Perth-based Eagles’ first international signing, having impressed at a National Combine (draft).

Brophy spent three days in Perth on his way to the Combine, where he was shown around the club and the city. He joins fellow young Kildare players Daniel Flynn (Port Adelaide) and Sean Hurley (Fremantle) in moving to Australia.

Conor McKenna Tyrone's Conor McKenna Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

McKenna, who has played for Tyrone’s minor footballers over the past two years, joins on a two-year contract on Essendon’s Rookie B list with Tadhg Kennelly and AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan assisting in the move.

“We are thrilled Conor has taken the opportunity to join the Essendon Football Club under our Alternative Talent Program,” Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro told the club’s website.

“We were one of two clubs to attend the Irish Combine in December last year, and we were immediately impressed with Conor’s talents. He has exceptional speed and endurance and he has a strong desire to become a professional footballer.

“His athletic profile is elite and while there is a long way to go, we really feel that Conor has the attributes to become a successful AFL player.”

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Ben Blake

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