Galway star Divilly shines brightest as five Irish represent at Aussie Rules trials in Melbourne

Donegal young gun Oisin Gallen, Cork forward Saoirse Noonan and Meath duo Vikki Wall and Cian McBride were also chasing contracts.

Irish Down Under: Wall, Gallen, Noonan, McBride and Divilly.
Irish Down Under: Wall, Gallen, Noonan, McBride and Divilly.
Image: AAP/PA Images

GALWAY STAR OLIVIA Divilly took the NAB AFLW Draft Combine by storm this week, as one of five rising Irish Gaelic footballers flying the flag in Melbourne.

As first reported by The42, 2019 All-Ireland finalist Divilly was one of three leading ladies footballers attending the meet along with Cork ace Saoirse Noonan and Meath sharpshooter Vikki Wall.

In the men’s combine, Donegal rising star Oisin Gallen and Meath U20 midfielder Cian McBride tested at the MCG, Margaret Court Arena and Collingwood’s Holden Centre.

While they recorded some promising results — Gallen was fifth in the agility test in 8.197 seconds while McBride’s 87cm running vertical jump saw him finish fourth in that category — Divilly stole the show as she finished in the top two of three AFLW tests. 

The Kilkerrin-Clonberne forward recorded the best result in the Yo-Yo test (level 17.2 and the third-best ever in AFLW records; it’s similar to the beep test here) and came second in both the 20m sprint (3.258 seconds) and the 2km time trial (7:48).

On Sunday before jetting off, she helped her club to the Galway county senior title for the seventh year in-a-row.

Wall, who led the way for the Royals this summer as they reached a second consecutive All-Ireland intermediate final, finished fourth in the 20m sprint (3.229 seconds). The 21-year-old now faces into a Meath senior county final with Dunboyne on Sunday.

AFL’s Sarah Black reports that Noonan didn’t test due to a knee complaint. The Nemo Rangers club woman — who also plays top-level soccer with Cork City in the Women’s National League — injured her ACL last November but battled back to impress for the Rebels through the summer. It’s not known whether this injury is related, however.

Performances at the combine could lead to a coveted deal with a club.

The Irish trio have been given permission to nominate for the entire country in the upcoming NAB AFLW Draft on 22 October, according to the AFL website, unlike local players who must choose a region in the state-based draft.

Dublin duo Sinéad Goldrick brought the total number of Irish confirmed for the 2020 AFLW season to 18 on Tuesday when they signed for Melbourne FC.

Several others — many of those who were present at May’s CrossCoders camp in Athlone — will be included in the draft later this month.

As of now, there are 15 Irish male players on AFL lists for next season.

afl-draft-combine The Irish representation. Source: AAP/PA Images

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aflw-draft-combine Divilly really impressed through her tests. Source: AAP/PA Images

aflw-draft-combine Divilly during the reach test. Source: AAP/PA Images

aflw-draft-combine Divilly after winning the 2km time trial. Source: AAP/PA Images

aflw-draft-combine Wall during the 2km time trial. Source: AAP/PA Images

aflw-draft-combine Wall on the court. Source: AAP/PA Images

afl-draft-combine McBride during the reach test. Source: AAP/PA Images

afl-draft-combine Gallen on the run. Source: AAP/PA Images

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Emma Duffy

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