Inpho Sports. Dayna Finn (left) and Erone Fitzpatrick are set to join Carlton.
# Land down under
Mayo and Laois stars sign AFLW deals
Dayna Finn and Erone Fitzpatrick have joined Carlton.

IRISH DUO DAYNA Finn and Erone Fitzpatrick have signed for Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] side Carlton.

Mayo dual star Finn is an interesting addition, having excelled at international basketball as well as inter-county football.

The 23-year-old has focused mainly on basketball in recent years, on a sports scholarship at Trinity College, Dublin, where she represents Trinity Meteors, while her star rises on the Ireland team.

She played for Mayo in the 2021 All-Ireland semi-final.

dayna-finn Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Finn in action for Mayo in 2021. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Fitzpatrick, similarly, is a multi-sport athlete having previously played camogie, soccer and basketball, but she’s established herself as an impressive talent on the inter-county football scene of late.

A 2022 All-Ireland intermediate champion with Laois and nominee for Player of the Year at that grade, the 22-year-old racked up some big scoring tallies en route to glory. She was also named in the 2017 and 2021 Teams of the League and was Leinster Gaelic Football Player of the Year in 2018.

Fitzpatrick is back to her brilliant best after a cruciate ligament knee injury in 2020, having already amassed some other memorable moments through her career to date.

She captained Scoil Chríost Rí to the Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary Schools A title in 2019, and was an O’Connor Cup winner with University of Limerick last year.

“Dayna and Erone’s skill sets will easily transfer to AFLW and we will invest heavily in their development, to give them the best possible transition into the program,” Carlton Head of Football Brad Lloyd said.

“We have successfully worked with athletes from different codes who have gone on to become strong AFLW players and we look forward to giving Dayna and Erone all the support they need to follow the same path.

“The club has some of the best facilities in the country, which will assist them in their development, and our football department will work closely with them once they arrive.

“We look forward to welcoming Dayna and Erone to the Club as they make the move from Ireland in the coming months.”

Kerry pair Paris McCarthy and Julie O’Sullivan, Roscommon’s Jennifer Higgins (all Sydney Swans) and Dublin star Jennifer Dunne (Brisbane Lions) have also signed AFLW deals in recent days, while Down’s Clara Fitzpatrick has made the move to Gold Coast Suns from St Kilda ahead of the 2023 season.

It’s understood Talent ID and skills coach Mike Currane of the AFLW Ireland social media page worked with the new signings.

The 2023 season is expected to begin in August, but has not yet been confirmed. Sarah Rowe, Aishling Sheridan (both Collingwood) and Orla O’Dwyer (Brisbane Lions) are among the Irish players to have re-signed for their respective clubs.

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