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GWS Giants. Irish Down Under: Bríd Stack.
Bríd Stack fully confirmed for Australia return after serious injury derailed 2021 dream
‘One more shot’ for the Cork great at Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants.

CORK GREAT BRÍD Stack has confirmed that she is returning to her Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants side for the upcoming Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] season.

In mid-June, the Giants announced that Stack had re-signed alongside Cora Staunton, though the 11-time All-Ireland winner was given time to mull over her future after her nightmare first season at the club.

The 34-year-old sustained a serious neck injury in a pre-season game, ruling her out for the season — but leaving her counting her lucky stars after coming within millimetres of paralysis.

In a powerful interview with The Irish Examiner published today, Stack confirmed that her decision was made and she is heading back to chase her dream of playing professionally.

“I took everyone’s thoughts and feelings into consideration but at the end of it all, I had to make that decision for myself,” the former Cork star told Christie O’Connor.

I wanted to go back and give it one more shot. And I have everyone’s blessing now.

“The biggest thing for me is to enjoy it and embrace it and be present in it and not be always chasing it like I was last year. And I really want to enjoy the whole experience with the two lads.”

2016 Footballer of the Year and Rockchapel native Stack has been playing football with her club, St Val’s, and will continue to do so until herself, her husband, Carthach, and young son, Carthach Óg, return to Sydney.

AFLW pre-season is due to start in September — though quarantine and other Covid-19 procedures, along with inter-county commitments may present hurdles for Irish players — with the season opening in December and ending in March.

Fourteen Irish players competed in last season’s AFLW, including Tipperary’s Orla O’Dwyer who starred in Brisbane’s title-winning campaign.

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With Mayo star Rachel Kearns the one new face for 2021/22, the same number is confirmed again, as of now, after Niamh McEvoy’s withdrawal.

With new teams added to the competition, there’s more opportunities ahead for Irish players to cross codes, but he soon-to-be expanded season will make it more difficult for them to return home for club and inter-county football

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