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Cork All-Star defender set to receive AFLW contract offers

North Melbourne and St Kilda are amongst the clubs interested in Erika O’Shea.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CORK’S 2021 ALL-Star defender Erika O’Shea is edging closer to an AFLW move, The42 understands.

O’Shea was named on last year’s TG4 Ladies Football All-Star team after becoming a key member of the Rebels defence. She has enjoyed two impressive seasons with the senior side. At just 19, she would be one of the younger players to make the switch.

North Melbourne and St Kilda are amongst several outfits in contact with O’Shea. It is understood clubs have identified her speed and running ability as key attributes that would allow her to succeed in Australia.

O’Shea’s resilience is another positive. She was dropped from underage Cork teams, failing to make the cut one year of U16 trials, but bounced back to enjoy success. 

In an interview with The42 earlier this year, O’Shea admitted AFLW was an attractive avenue.

“Definitely in the long run I would like to play AFL if I got the chance but I’d love to play for the county first and try my best and win All-Irelands,” she concludes.

“There are such talented players going over, I would like to give it a go.’

O’Shea has been working with Talent ID and AFLW skills coach Mike Currane in recent months in preparation for a move. He is also working with 2021 Player of the Year and Meath star Vikki Wall ahead of her expected switch Down Under.

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“She is a great player and a great person,” said Currane of O’Shea. “I’m not surprised there is interest. Right now, they are just conversations.” 

Meanwhile established Irish players are attracting increased attention in Australia. With all 18 clubs in the competition next season, the sign and trade period is set to be chaotic as established clubs look to hold onto key players while new teams hope to poach top talent.

Hawthorn have shown interest in Aileen Gilroy, currently at North Melbourne. While per Womens.afl, champions Adelaide, North Melbourne, St Kilda and Geelong have all registered their interest in Mayo native and West Coast’s Niamh Kelly. 

About the author:

Maurice Brosnan

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