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Tipperary star named in West Coast Eagles' leadership group for 2022 season

‘Aisling McCarthy’s football nous – alongside her hardworking nature – made her an ideal candidate.’

Screenshot 2021-09-21 at 15.34.40 Source: West Coast Eagles AFLW.

TIPPERARY STAR AISLING McCarthy has been named in her Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] side’s leadership group for the 2022 season.

McCarthy, a two-time All-Ireland intermediate champion and 2017 Player of the Year, was added to West Coast Eagles’ four-person senior leadership group, as voted by her peers.

The 25-year-old enjoyed an impressive debut season at the club in 2021, having made an historic switch from Western Bulldogs, where she launched her glittering AFLW career off the back of CrossCoders exploits.

McCarthy’s season was derailed due to a knee injury, though she battled back to line out for Tipperary in the latter stages of the All-Ireland senior championship, helping to secure their top-flight status.

One of 14 Irish players confirmed for the new AFLW season, the Cahir clubwoman is expected to return to Perth in the coming weeks, where she’ll join captain Emma Swanson, vice-captain Dana Hooker and Parris Laurie in the leadership group, and work under new coach Michael Prior.

“West Coast also welcomed Irish superboot and 2021 best and fairest runner-up, Aisling McCarthy to the [leadership] fold as she enters her second year at the Eagles,” an article on the club’s website reads.

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“McCarthy’s football nous – alongside her hardworking nature – made her an ideal candidate for the fourth peer-voted position in the senior leadership squad.”

Mayo Sister Act Niamh and Grace Kelly are McCarthy’s Irish team-mates at the Eagles, with her Tipperary countywoman, Orla O’Dwyer, the only to have made the journey back to Australia ahead of the new season as of yet.

It has been pushed back to January 2022, as Covid-19 cases continue to soar in Australia. Pre-season has also been delayed, with travel obstacles impacting Irish players. O’Dwyer, a reigning Premiership champion with Brisbane Lions, was born in Sydney holds an Australian passport, likely making the process easier.

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Emma Duffy

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