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Louth's Kate Flood (left) and Leitrim's Áine Tighe (right) with CrossCoders co-founder and Western Bulldogs star Lauren Spark.
Louth's Kate Flood (left) and Leitrim's Áine Tighe (right) with CrossCoders co-founder and Western Bulldogs star Lauren Spark.

Leitrim star re-signs for Fremantle for 2021 after injury heartbreak as Louth captain opts out

Áine Tighe, Katy Herron and Clara Fitzpatrick are returning to the AFLW for 2021 – but Kate Flood is not.
Aug 13th 2020, 9:01 AM 11,154 1

Updated Aug 13th 2020, 4:53 PM

LEITRIM STAR ÁINE Tighe has re-signed for her Aussie Rules side Fremantle after missing the 2020 season through injury.

Tighe was one of 11 players to pen new deals for the 2021 season as Freo wrapped up their Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] Sign and Trade Period overnight.

But the club also confirmed that Louth star Kate Flood will not return for the 2021 season due to “personal reasons” — though she may rejoin the set-up in the future after her stunning debut campaign.

“Forward Kate Flood will not return to Fremantle for the 2021 season due to personal reasons,” a statement reads, “however Fremantle are working with the AFL to investigate options to re-list Flood for future seasons.”

“Unfortunately, Irish recruit Kate Flood will not be returning to the AFLW for the 2021 season due to personal reasons,” senior manager of football operations Joe Brierty added.
The club will work closely with the AFL to investigate what options there may be for Kate to return to the club in the future. We will continue to support Kate and she will stay connected with the club during this time.”

Both Tighe and Flood signed for Fremantle after working with CrossCoders. While Tighe missed the 2020 campaign after sustaining a heartbreaking cruciate knee injury in the final pre-season match, 2019 All-Ireland junior winning captain Flood enjoyed an impressive season and kicked plenty of goals.

She was central as Freo went unbeaten, and were looking most likely to be crowned Premier champions before the plug was pulled due to the Covid-19 crisis.

aflw-dockers-cats Kate Flood. Source: AAP/PA Images

27-year-old Tighe, who is now making a second cruciate comeback, had caught the eye in leading the side’s ruck division through pre-season and had been tipped to make a big impact in the Australian league before she suffered the cruel blow.

The Kiltubrid forward now gets her chance in 2021.

Meanwhile, Western Bulldogs have confirmed that Donegal defender Katy Herron will return for 2021 and Down native Clara Fitzpatrick is set for another stint with St Kilda.

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Both Herron and Fitzpatrick impressed in their respective debut seasons and have been rewarded with new deals.

This morning’s news from Fremantle comes after Tipperary’s Orla O’Dwyer (Brisbane Lions) and Dublin duo Sinéad Goldrick and Niamh McEvoy (both Melbourne) were confirmed for 2021 yesterday.

History-making Tipperary star Aisling McCarthy made the move to West Coast Eagles last week, where she joins Mayo Sister Act Grace and Niamh Kelly, who have recommitted on two-year deals.

And Clare’s 2019 Premier champion Ailish Considie has also signed a new contract with Adelaide Crows ahead of her third AFLW season.

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