Donegal's Niamh McLaughlin. Bryan Keane/INPHO
On the Move

Donegal captain becomes latest Irish recruit to join AFLW for 2023 season

Niamh McLaughlin has penned a deal with Gold Coast Suns.

DONEGAL’S NIAMH MCLAUGHLIN has become the latest Irish recruit to join the AFLW ahead of the 2023 season as she links up with Gold Coast Suns.

McLaughlin, who is a dual star across Ladies Football and soccer, joins the Suns after being named the Ladies Senior Football Player of the Year for 2022, while also picking up her first All-Star Award.

The current captain of the Donegal ladies, she previously represented Ireland in soccer at U17 and U 19 levels while she also enjoyed stints with Newcastle and Sunderland.

“I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity and the chance to push myself into something new,” McLaughlin told the Gold Suns club website.

“The opportunities have become more available to girls to make the transition from Gaelic football to the AFLW. The skills are quite transferrable and it’s a new challenge with a new lifestyle for me, which is exciting.”

“The conversations I’ve had with [Head Coach] Cameron [Joyce] and [Head of Women’s Football] Fiona [Sessarago] have been positive and I’m looking forward to the new adventure.”

McLaughlin joins Clara Fitzpatrick of Down who has also linked up with Suns from St Kilda while other Ladies Football stars penned deals in the AFLW last week. Kerry LGFA duo Paris McCarthy and Julie O’Sullivan have all joined Sydney Swans along with Roscommon’s Jennifer Higgins. Dublin footballer Jennifer Dunne will be heading to the Brisbane Lions as a rookie for 2023 and 2024 seasons.

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