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Another big Irish AFL move as Tuohy set for Geelong switch

The Laois half-back joined Carlton on an international rookie deal in 2010.

Zach Tuohy in action for Ireland in the 2013 International Rules series.
Zach Tuohy in action for Ireland in the 2013 International Rules series.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ZACH TUOHY LOOKS set to follow Pearce Hanley’s lead in completing an AFL move and ending a lengthy spell with his first club in the oval-ball game.

The Laois native, who was an unused substitute for Portlaoise in their county final defeat to Stradbally last weekend, is on the brink of signing for Geelong in a draft-pick trade deal.

Mayo man Hanley confirmed his move to Gold Coast Suns yesterday, ending his eight-year stint at the Brisbane Lions.

Tuohy recently requested a trade to Geelong after rejecting a contract offer from Carlton, the club he joined on an international rookie deal in 2010 before making his first-grade debut in 2011. And he has appears to have had his wish granted.

The half-back, who is renowned for his running game and his booming kick, has gone on to accumulate 120 appearances for the Blues which included a remarkable run of 90 consecutive games dating back to the start of the 2013 season.

Tuohy is expected to join the Cats who will forego a future first-round draft pick, while Carlton utility Billy Smedts is also expected to switch to Geelong as part of the deal.

Carlton, who still have Irish recruits Ciaran Byrne (Louth) and Ciaran Sheehan (Cork) on their books, had a disappointing season in 2016 which culminated in a 14th-place finish after 15 losses in their 22 games.

Sheehan’s AFL future remains uncertain having not played a first-grade game since 2014, only making his return from an 18-month injury absence with Carlton’s affiliate club, the Northern Blues, last May.

Byrne is another who has struggled with injuries — his 2015 season was ended by a hamstring issue days after making his debut, while his 2016 season was cruelly ended by a cruciate injury after he had earned rave reviews in a number of his 11 appearances.

Tuohy looks set to join former Kerry minor captain Mark O’Connor, who confirmed his move to the club yesterday, at Geelong for next season. Padraig Lucey, another Kerry native, was delisted by the club towards the end of last month after failing to make the breakthrough to the first grade.

Geelong have been one of the top teams in the AFL in recent seasons, having won three Grand Finals over the past 10 years, and were beaten by Sydney Swans in the Preliminary Finals (final four) last month.

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Former Kerry minor star Mark O’Connor signs with AFL club Geelong

Mayo man Pearce Hanley completes move to AFL rivals Gold Coast Suns

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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