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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

Sligo forward could become 14th Irish player with an AFL club as North Melbourne set to offer deal

Red Óg Murphy is the latest young Gaelic footballer to be targeted.

The number of Irish players with AFL clubs has grown.
The number of Irish players with AFL clubs has grown.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

YOUNG SLIGO PLAYER Red Óg Murphy is in line to become the latest Gaelic footballer to make the move to the AFL.

Murphy is set to be offered a deal with North Melbourne with the AFL website reporting that he will be recruited after having trialled with the club in August.

Last year Murphy was part of the Sligo team that reached the All-Ireland minor football quarter-finals, shooting 0-11 when they lost narrowly to Derry in their last eight tie.

He will be in action for his club Curry this weekend in the Sligo intermediate football final replay against Shamrock Gaels after the teams finished level, 2-11 to 0-17, in last weekend’s decider.

Conor Meredith from Laois was the last Irish player to line out for North Melbourne, who finished ninth in the 2018 regular AFL season.

If Murphy makes the move, it will bring to 14 the number of Irish players in the AFL and see him follow in the footsteps of Dublin’s James Madden, Kerry’s Stefan Okunbor, Cork’s Mark Keane and the Derry duo of Anton Tohill and Callum Brown, who have all recently signed new deals.

Louth’s Ciaran Byrne, Galway’s Cillian McDaid and Westmeath’s Ray Connellan have all departed recently after stints with Carlton and St Kilda.

Here’s the full list of Irish players that have are currently on squad lists for the 2019 AFL season.

  1. James Madden (Dublin – Brisbane Lions)
  2. Mark Keane (Cork – Collingwood)
  3. Anton Tohill (Derry – Collingwood)
  4. Conor McKenna (Tyrone – Essendon)
  5. Mark O’Connor (Kerry – Geelong)
  6. Stefan Okunbor (Kerry – Geelong)
  7. Zach Tuohy (Laois – Geelong)
  8. Pearce Hanley (Mayo – Gold Coast)
  9. Callum Brown (Derry – Greater Western Sydney)
  10. Conor Glass (Derry – Hawthorn)
  11. Conor Nash (Meath – Hawthorn)
  12. Darragh Joyce (Kilkenny – St Kilda)
  13. Colin O’Riordan (Tipperary – Sydney Swans)

- An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Conor McKenna was from Derry.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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