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Two Irish stars named in AFLW Team of the Week

Mayo’s Aileen Gilroy and Áine Tighe of Leitrim have really impressed Down Under.

North Melbourne's Aileen Gilroy facing Carlton over the weekend.
North Melbourne's Aileen Gilroy facing Carlton over the weekend.
Image: AAP/PA Images

TWO IRISH PLAYERS have been named in the Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] Team of the Week for Round Four.

Leitrim star Áine Tighe was included among the half-backs after her stunning performance in a new position for Fremantle Dockers, while Mayo ace Aileen Gilroy earned a spot on the interchange bench following her exploits with North Melbourne.

Tighe was described as “outstanding” by Freo head coach Trent Cooper after impressing in just her fourth AFLW game last week, in this her long-awaited debut season.

While the towering 28-year-old was simply immense against Collingwood, she was rested for yesterday’s win over Western Bulldogs as her return after two injury-ravaged campaigns is managed accordingly.

“She’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen,” as Fremantle team-mate Kiara Bowers told The West Australian about Tighe in pre-season, before she had even played a competitive game.

Gilroy, likewise, has been consistently brilliant for North Melbourne this season, sparkling in their win over Carlton Blues on Sunday.

The Killala star had 15 disposals and a highlight goal-saving diving smother at the end of the second quarter, as detailed in the match report under the heading ‘the one-percenter’.

“Having burst the Kangaroos’ bubble with a late first-quarter goal, the Blues seemed set to do the same at the end of the second term, pouring forward with multiple options inside 50,” it read.

“Irish Roo Aileen Gilroy had other ideas, chopping off the attack with a desperate diving smother. Her courage averted what could have been a deflating finish to a half the Kangaroos had controlled with little reward.”

Gilroy currently heads the table for most intercepts in the competition with 30 after four rounds, in this her third campaign Down Under.

aine-tighe Tighe in action at a CrossCoders trial camp. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Like Tighe, she has seriously impressed since joining ahead of the 2020 season.

“I’m a massive Aileen fangirl,” as Dublin All-Ireland winner and former Melbourne player Niamh McEvoy said on Virgin Media Sport’s AFLW show this week.

“She’s just going from strength to strength and as she improves, the team improves.

“The girls just love to give her the ball, she’s a real springboard for attack for them and anytime she’s off anyone’s shoulder – it’s called a boost run in Australia – they all give her the ball. It has to be a tactic for them.” 

Tighe and Gilroy’s inclusions in AFLW Team the Week is certainly huge recognition, as the 14 Irishwomen involved continue to make waves in their adopted sport.

The duo lock horns on Sunday, as Fremantle travel to North Melbourne [6.10am Irish time].

2022 AFLW Round Five Fixtures

*all in Irish time

Friday, 4 February

Geelong Cats v West Coast Eagles, 8.10am

Saturday, 5 February

GWS Giants v St Kilda, 4.10am

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Brisbane Lions v Collingwood, 6.10am

Melbourne v Gold Coast, 8.10am

Sunday, 6 February

Western Bulldogs v Richmond Tigers, 2.10am

Carlton Blues v Adelaide Crows, 4.10am

North Melbourne v Fremantle Dockers, 6.10am

Irish players involved in the 2022 AFLW season

  • Orla O’Dwyer (Brisbane Lions / Tipperary)
  • Aisling McCarthy (West Coast Eagles / Tipperary)
  • Grace Kelly (West Coast Eagles / Mayo)
  • Niamh Kelly (West Coast Eagles / Mayo)
  • Aileen Gilroy (North Melbourne / Mayo)
  • Rachel Kearns (Geelong Cats / Mayo)
  • Sarah Rowe (Collingwood / Mayo)
  • Aishling Sheridan (Collingwood / Cavan)
  • Cora Staunton (GWS Giants / Mayo)
  • Bríd Stack (GWS Giants / Cork)
  • Áine Tighe (Fremantle / Leitrim)
  • Sinéad Goldrick (Melbourne / Dublin)
  • Lauren Magee (Melbourne / Dublin)
  • Ailish Considine (Clare / Adelaide Crows)

Alongside TG4′s weekend coverage on Saturday (5.15pm) and Sunday (11.15am), you can stream every game live on the AFL Women’s official app and the AFL Live app.

BTL 5

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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