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Dublin: 10°C Friday 23 April 2021
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Lithuanian-born Kerry goalkeeper shines brightest at AFL Combine in Dublin

20 hopefuls participated in the two-day testing event in UCD.

LITHUANIAN-BORN KERRY goalkeeper Deividas Uosis appears to be one prospect who impressed at this weekend’s Australian Football League [AFL] European Combine in Dublin.

deividas-uosis-and-brian-hartnett Kerry’s Deividas Uosis (left) is tackled by Brian Hartnett of Cork. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

GAA stars from around the country were put through their paces at the ninth annual Combine in UCD, as they aimed to impress on-watching Aussie Rules scouts and earn a trial in Australia. 

All-Ireland minor champion Uosis was one who caught the eye during the two-day fitness and skills testing event, according to the AFL’s website. 

The 19-year-old recorded a blistering 2.76 second time in the 20m sprint – 0.92sec over the first 5m – and finished fourth in agility testing with a 7.92 second effort.

Both of those times would have ranked number one at this year’s NAB AFL Draft Combine Down Under.

The Dingle teenager also excelled in the endurance-based Yo-Yo test, where his 21.5 score was superior to the Australian Combine’s best overall performer, Hawthorn father-son recruit Finn Maginness.

deividas-uosis Uosis testing on Friday. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

deividas-uosis In a game situation on Saturday. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

AFL talent ambassador Kevin Sheehan was “super” impressed with 2017 minor All-Star Uosis but stressed that athletic testing was “only one part of it”.

“Today we have the game sense and match play (after testing the previous day), but they’re elite athletes and as good as what we have in Australia,” Sheehan told AFL.com.

You don’t jump to conclusions based just on someone’s speed time, but it does suit that they can break the lines and we are after fast athletes.

This year, Uosis — also a talented outfield GAA, basketball and soccer player — has starred between the posts for Dingle, been involved in the Kingdom senior set-up and led the way for PS Chorca Dhuibhne.

Two Kerry minor All-Ireland winners have made the move to Auatralia in recent years, with fellow Dingle man Mark O’Connor and Tralee’s Stefan Okunbor both on the books at Geelong.

While 20 participated across the weekend, Mayo duo Matthew Ruane and Oisin Mullin were among other top performers, with Down’s Pierce Laverty and Jordan Morrissey of Carlow also present.

“It’s inspiring to be in this environment,” Sheehan added. “The kids want to give it their best, alongside like-minded guys from all over the country who have played against each other but never met.

“They’re on a path that’s quite uncertain but exciting.”

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players-shake-hands-after-the-match Players shake hands after the game. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

matt-rouane-and-oisin-oreilly Mayo’s Matt Rouane and Oisin O’Reilly of Roscommon. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

matt-ruane-and-oisin-mullin Mayo duo Ruane and Oisin Mullin. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

aaron-oneill Aaron O'Neill. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

pierce-laverty Down’s Pierce Laverty. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

marty-clarke-and-shaun-murphy Marty Clarke and Sean Murphy. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Dubliner James Madden (Brisbane) and Ross McQuillan (Essendon) both recently landed deals off the back of standout AFL Europe Combine testing results.

The top-four rated Irish prospects from the Combine will be flown to Australia in April  2020 to train in front of AFL teams, while two more will test at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft Combine.

The first-ever women’s European Combine now follows the men’s edition, after Galway star Olivia Divilly excelled in the Melbourne trial two months ago.

As per photographs on Inpho, here are the 20 that attended:

  • Aaron O’Neill (Kildare)
  • Shane O’Sullivan (Kildare)
  • Martin Shannon (Wicklow)
  • Cathal Walsh (Galway)
  • Matt Grogan (Dublin)
  • Matthew Ruane (Mayo)
  • Pierce Laverty (Down)
  • Deividas Uosis (Kerry)
  • Oisin O’Reilly (Roscommon)
  • Blake Murphy (Cork)
  • Oisin Mullin (Mayo)
  • Brian Hartnett (Cork)
  • Lorcan McBride (Tyrone)
  • Karl Gallagher (Monaghan)
  • Ultan Kelm (Fermanagh)
  • Conleth McShane (Derry)
  • Oisin McGraynor (Wicklow)
  • Cillian Rouine (Clare)
  • Frank Irwin (Mayo)
  • Jordan Morrissey (Carlow) — did not test because of Éire Óg’s Leinster final.

See more pics here and here.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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