Mayo speedster requests trade to AFLW champions

Elsewhere, 2021 All Stars Erika O’Shea and Vikki Wall are closing in on a move to North Melbourne.

MAYO AFLW STAR Niamh Kelly has requested a trade to champions Adelaide from West Coast Eagles.

The speedster is set to become only the second Irishwomen ever to move clubs. The first was current team-mate and Tipperary’s Aisling McCarthy who switched to West Coast Eagles from Western Bulldogs. Kelly’s sister, Grace, also lined out for the Eagles last season.

First reported by 9News Perth, Kelly has pursued a move ahead of the upcoming Sign and Trade period. 

The former Mayo captain has played AFLW since 2020, having joined via international recruitment agency called CrossCoders. The Adelaide Crows already have an Irish player on their list, two-time Grand Final winner Ailish Considine. 

Elsewhere, Fermanagh footballer Joanne Doonan’s hopes of securing an AFLW deal have strengthened in recent weeks after several superb showings in the VFLW. Doonan, who previously played for Carlton, joined Essendon’s VFLW outfit earlier this year in a bid to earn a senior list spot for the upcoming season.

She kicked two goals against Western Bulldogs last weekend as the Bombers moved into top spot on the VFLW ladder and guaranteed a finals spot. Her round ten performance earned five votes in the Coaches Player of the Year award.

Closer to home, it was confirmed this week that Erika O’Shea will not be part of the Cork football panel for the upcoming Munster and All-Ireland championship. As previously reported by The42, the All-Star defender has been closing in on a move to the AFLW. O’Shea received multiple offers but The42 understands North Melbourne lead the way and she is set to make the move in the coming weeks.

2021 player of the year Vikki Wall is also set to take up an offer from North Melbourne, although the Meath star will not travel until her championship campaign is at an end. Both Wall and O’Shea have been working with AFLW Talent ID and skills coach Mike Currane in preparation for the move.

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It is understood Dublin’s Lauren Magee will depart Melbourne after limited game time last season. The midfielder has held discussions with other clubs, with Geelong in particular showing interest.

Official signing announcements cannot occur until the new AFLW collective bargaining agreement is confirmed. Discussions are still underway between all parties concerned. It means the Sign and Trade period cannot begin, creating huge uncertainty for players and clubs.

Recent high-profile announcements, such as Port Adelaide’s signing of three-time Premiership winner Erin Phillips, daughter of AFL Hall of Famer Greg, have been based on commitments only as players can not yet sign contracts. Dates for the upcoming season are also yet to be finalised. 

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Maurice Brosnan

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