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Crossmaglen's O'Neill among 20 Irish hopefuls put through their paces by Marty Clarke at AFL Combine

The two-day testing event took place in UCD.

TWENTY YOUNG GAA stars were put through their paces at the eighth annual AFL Europe Combine as they bid to impress watching scouts and earn a trial Down Under.

Sean Walsh Sean Walsh during the warm-up. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

12 counties were represented as the youngsters took part in the two-day fitness and skills testing event in UCD. It was conducted by former Down and Collingwood player Marty Clarke and various AFL Europe officials.

Crossmaglen prospect Rian O’Neill, brother of Armagh forward Oisin O’Neill and nephew of Orchard legend Oisin McConville, was in attendance alongside recent All-Ireland minor winners Paul O’Shea and Colm Moriarty from Kerry.

Rian O'Neill during the speed test Rian O'Neill during the speed test. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Dublin’s James Madden (Brisbane Lions), Cork’s Mark Keane and Derry native Anton Tohill (both Collingwood) and were among those who impressed at last year’s event and earned rookie contracts in the AFL.

There will be a record 14 Irish players on the books of Aussie Rules clubs next year after the recent signings of Kerry’s Stefan Okunbor (Geelong), Derry’s Callum Brown (Greater Western Sydney) and Sligo youngster Red Óg Murphy (North Melbourne).

That figure could rise even further in 2019 if the recruiters were impressed by the prospects on show in Dublin this week.

Cathal Horan during the vertical jump test Cathal Horan during the vertical jump test. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Ross McQuillan during the speed test Ross McQuillan during the speed test. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Jason Scully during the agility run Jason Scully during the agility run. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A view of the agility run A view of the agility run. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A view of participants during the warm-up A view of participants during the warm-up. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Sean O'Donoghue Sean O'Donoghue during the speed test. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A view of the agility run A view of the agility run. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Rory Egan during the agility run Rory Egan during the agility run. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Colm Moriarty during the agility run Colm Moriarty during the agility run. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The 20 players who took part in UCD were:

  • Rian O’Neill (Armagh)
  • Ross McQuillan (Armagh)
  • Cillian Rouine (Clare)
  • Seán O’Donoghue (Clare)
  • Seán Walsh (Cork)
  • Peadar Mogan (Donegal)
  • Paul O’Shea (Kerry)
  • Colm Moriarty (Kerry)
  • Mark Barrett (Kildare)
  • Pearce Dolan (Leitrim)
  • Josh Ryan (Limerick)
  • Cathal Horan (Mayo)
  • Liam Byrne (Meath)
  • Jason Scully (Meath)
  • Rory Egan (Offaly)
  • Luke Towey (Sligo)
  • Conal Kennedy (Tipperary)
  • Jack Kennedy (Tipperary)
  • Barry O’Connor (Wexford)
  • Ronan Devereaux (Wexford)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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