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Jackie Tyrell is to get a taste for Major League Baseball with the Miami Marlins

But Kilkenny fans need not worry. He’ll be back again.

Eight-time All-Ireland winning defender Jackie Tyrell is heading to Miami to swap hurling for baseball.
Eight-time All-Ireland winning defender Jackie Tyrell is heading to Miami to swap hurling for baseball.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

KILKENNY’S JACKIE TYRELL will swap his hurley for a baseball bat in a new documentary that will air next month.

‘The Toughest Trade’ will see Tyrell head to Florida to sample the life of a professional baseball player with the Miami Marlins, who are currently preparing for the start of the Major League Baseball season in April.

Making the move in the opposite direction for the show will be Brian Schneider, a former baseball player with the likes of the New York Mets, who’ll be joining Tyrell’s club James Stephens.

The hour-long documentary, which is to be broadcast on TV3 at 10pm on Monday, 9 March, will also feature ex-Armagh defender Aaron Kernan and former England soccer international David Bentley.

As reported yesterday, Kernan will depart for the UK on Thursday to train with Premier League club Sunderland, while Bentley has taken Kernan’s place at Crossmaglen Rangers and will play for the club tomorrow night in a challenge match against local rivals Silverbridge Harps.

Details were revealed today by AIB, sponsors of the GAA Club Championships, and Motive Television, the IFTA award-winning company who’ll be producing the documentary.

AIB’s Brand Director Brian Keating said: “With its predominantly winter schedule, the constant pressure of knockout matches, having to balance the demands of family, work or college with training and playing matches, and of course, the fact that some of the biggest names in GAA haven’t won a club medal, we believe that the AIB GAA Club Championships really is the toughest of them all.

“With this film, what we wanted to investigate was, could the GAA club game actually be the toughest in the world?

“David and Brian will be part of the parish; they will train with the club and play in a challenge match with a rival club, as well as work day jobs. They’ll find out just how tough it is to live and train as a GAA club player.

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“And given we often have a lot of preconceptions about the lives of professional athletes, it’s going to be very interesting to see how both Jackie and Aaron get on with their new clubs.”

AIB #TheToughest Trade Launch Aaron Kernan and Jackie Tyrell are changing codes. Source: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

The documentary will see the four players — Tyrell and Schneider, Kernan and Bentley — swap lives, in both a sporting and professional sense.

Schneider will fill in for Tyrell as a Sales Development Manager at Glanbia, and Bentley will work for Kernan’s property lettings company. According to rumours in Crossmaglen, the former Tottenham and Blackburn midfielder turned up late for work on his first day on the job this morning.

Tyrell is known for his love of US sports and recently showed off his hurling skills during a visit to Levi’s Stadium, the home of NFL side the San Francisco 49ers.

“He tries my life, I try his,” Tyrell told The Kilkenny People about switching roles with the ex-baseball star. “I never even held a baseball bat in my hand.”

‘The Toughest Trade’ will air on TV3 on Monday, 9 March, at 10pm. The documentary will also be available to watch afterwards on the AIB YouTube channel.

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Paul Dollery

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