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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Geelong Cats. Oisin Mullin has arrived at Geelong Cats.
# New Beginnings
Oisin Mullin arrives in Melbourne from Mayo after Dingle stag party meeting
‘The Irish contingent here in Geelong, it’s good, waving the flag.’

FROM MAYO TO Melbourne, via Dingle.

Oisin Mullin has finally arrived at his new AFL club Geelong Cats, after a rollercoaster journey to this point.

The two-time Young Footballer of the Year signed with Geelong in November 2021, though decided to stay in Ireland and commit to the Mayo cause. Now, he is taking his chances in professional sport with the reigning AFL champions.

12 months and 17,500km later, Mullin is Down Under as a Category B rookie.

“I was initially meant to come out at the start of July last year, Covid being an issue kind of pushed it back and delayed the season so I ended up waiting at home, committed to Mayo last year,” the 22-year-old told geelongcats.com.au.

“Delighted that it did work out the way it did — to give time to Mayo and then to get out here and see how things go.

“It’s great to finally get over here, I’m excited for it. Being shown around the place, the facilities, it’s unbelievable. Getting to meet a few of the boys, the culture of the spot, just from the instant of first coming in the front door, how welcome I felt was great. Very settled.”

Geelong Cats / YouTube

The star defender first met his new team-mates in Dingle recently.

Speaking to the AFL Exchange podcast last week, Geelong recruiting manager Stephen Wells explained the impact of the chance meeting in early October when several of the players travelled to these shores to visit Irish duo Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy.

They met Mullin in the Kingdom town after watching O’Connor’s Dingle side in Kerry club championship action.

“I was down at a stag in Dingle,” Mullin recalls. “Obviously Mark O’Connor was allowed to go home in the off-season and play for Dingle GAA in their club championship, and a few of the Geelong boys had travelled over and been supporting him.

“They all happened to be in Paul Geaney’s Pub the same night as we were there for the stag. So I’ve met a few of them randomly enough. From the start, the boys were very friendly. They seem like such a great bunch, good advocates for the culture here and what not.

“The two boys (O’Connor and Tuohy), all they said was good things about the club. They spoke very highly of it, the culture and just how everyone is so welcoming and will help make the transition a bit easier, because it’s difficult moving to another country. Different culture, different sport. There’s nothing simple about it. But the lads have been very reassuring and helpful.” 

The Kilmaine man went on to compare and contrast the two codes, already feeling at home at home in Geelong alongside O’Connor and Tuohy, and AFLW recruit and fellow Mayo native Rachel Kearns. 

“A lot of the attributes can be transferred over, the games in comparison are similar enough.

“Obviously it’s seen in the International Rules series previously, the similarities of the games…. the transition of the athletic ability, just get on top of learning the game, and obviously the difference in the balls — the oval is not the same as kicking a round ball.

“But Zach shows with his kicking ability,  the transition can happen, like with Mark and Rachel. Putting the Irish contingent here in Geelong, it’s good, waving the flag.”

Pre-season training is currently underway, with the Cats due to open their Premiership title defence against Collingwood under Friday Night Lights at the MCG on 17 March.

A very different St Patrick’s Day awaits for Mullin and co.

The rollercoaster journey continues.

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