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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018
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Mayo All-Ireland U21 winner and former senior panelist set to join London squad

Manager Ciaran Deely says Liam Irwin is “on the radar” of the Exiles.

LONDON LOOK SET to add promising Mayo forward Liam Irwin to their attack after the youngster made his debut for North London Shamrocks in the London county championship last weekend.

Liam Irwin celebrates scoring his sides second goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Irwin has recently made the move to the English capital and Exiles manager Ciaran Deely watched him in action against Kingdom Kerry Gaels on Saturday. Deely later confirmed to the Irish World he is hoping to bring the Breaffy talent on board.

“We’ll be chatting to him about his availability,” Deely said. ”We always want to bring in quality. He’s definitely on our radar.

“We’d like to get him in to train with us this week. There’s always a space for a couple of quality players within the squad, but anyone who does come in will train and then we’ll see.”

Irwin, an All-Ireland winner at minor and U21 level with Mayo, featured for Stephen Rochford’s senior side in the 2017 league before he was dropped prior to the championship.

He bagged four points in the minor All-Ireland win over Tyrone in 2013, and scored 2-2 in the U21 decider victory against Cork in 2016. Irwin was rated as one of the brightest young forwards in Mayo, but didn’t make the step up to senior ranks like many expected.

Liam Irwin Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Another player Deely may approach is Donegal native Peter Witherow, who won an All-Ireland medal under Jim McGuinness in 2012 and featured for New York in last summer’s Connacht championship.

Witherow lined out for his new club Naomh Mícheál over the weekend and is now eligible to play for London.

“The one qualification you always have to make with lads coming over to London is it takes them time to settle into life in the city,” Deely said as a note of caution.

“And a lot of times they’re not up to the fitness level of the other lads we have in, because they’ve been training since mid-November.

Ciaran Deely London boss Ciaran Deely Source: Gerry McManus/INPHO

“We’ve got three league games left and not that much time, so it’s hard to get lads up to speed in a very short amount of time.

“If a player comes in with a great attitude and works hard, integrates into the team then he’s got a chance, but I’d never dismiss any of the lads who’ve been there in the trenches with us over the last few years and from the beginning of this season.

“We’ve already got 31 or 32 real soldiers working hard and doing a lot for London GAA, and I’m certainly not going to forget about those lads.”

Meanwhile, the London squad were able to take advantage of Deely’s connection with QPR football club to train during the recent weather conditions.

Deely works as sports scientist with the QPR youth squad, and the Exiles have been training in the club’s indoor dome this week.

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Kevin O'Brien

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