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Kilkenny bows out on winning note with Castleknock

The highly-rated player departs for Australia on Thursday to embark on an AFL career.

Ciaran Kilkenny in action for the Dublin senior side.
Ciaran Kilkenny in action for the Dublin senior side.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

CIARAN KILKENNY IS set to depart Ireland on Thursday to begin his AFL career with Melbourne-based outfit Hawthorn but he bowed out on a winning note at the weekend with his club Castleknock.

Kilkenny helped his club to victory against Meath side Ratoath in Sunday’s Leinster club junior football semi-final as they achieved victory by 3-9 to 1-3 in a game played in Ratoath.

Castleknock, a club only in existence 14 years, now go forward to the provincial decider against Wexford team St Fintan’s on November 25th but will have to do so without Kilkenny as last Sunday was his final game.

Instead the highly-rated dual player leaves on Thursday to embark on life as an Australian Rules player with the Hawthorn club who contested this year’s Grand Final of the AFL in September when they lost out to the Sydney Swans.

A function was held in Castleknock on Sunday night where club members turned to wish Kilkenny well and he was also bestowed with the special honour of life membership of his club.

Kilkenny’s departure was confirmed in late September after months of speculation about the 19 year-old’s future following interest expressed by Hawthorn and their Melbourne rivals Carlton Blues in securing his services.

His absence is a massive blow for Dublin GAA after he progressed from playing in both the All-Ireland minor football and hurling finals last year to star at U21 and senior level this year.

Kilkenny was the leading light on the Dublin U21 team that lifted the All-Ireland title with a final victory over Roscommon in Mayo, registering 2-30 during their campaign and winning the Cadbury’s Hero of the Future award at the conclusion of the championship.

He was subsequently drafted into the capital’s senior side, making his debut for Pat Gilroy’s men in their Leinster semi-final victory over Wexford before kicking 0-3 when he deputised for the injured Alan Brogan during the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Mayo in August.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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