Limerick duo are Melbourne bound with Aussie Rules squads

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Limerick duo are Melbourne bound with Aussie Rules squads

Marie Keating receives her gear from Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission, Simon Mamouney and team manager Pat Leavy

THERE is Limerick representation on both the men's and women's national squads confirmed this week by the Australian Rules Football League Of Ireland.

The two national squads will take part in the sixth edition of the AFL International Cup in Melbourne, the sports de facto World Cup.

Ireland go into the event as second seeds in both the Mens and Womens Divisions having lost in both Grand Finals in 2014.

Former Limerick senior camogie player Marie Keating is a regular on the Irish team, while in the men’s line-up is Dromcollogher-Broadford’s Colin Lordan.

Keating, a former Killeedy camogie club player and Abbeyfeale club rugby player, was introduced to Aussie Rules during her time in Australia.

The Irish women's team, known as the Alfa Irish Banshees for sponsorship reasons, were winners of the inaugural edition of the event in 2011, when Keating was a player.

The popular photographer was again selected in 2014 but missed out due to injury.

Her Aussie Rules career also saw her win an All Australian medal while in Sydney. Indeed during her five years there, she was named in the Sydney Women’s AFL Team of the Decade in 2008.

Keating and her Irish team-mates will play Papua New Guinea, USA and a continental European team in order to book a place in the knockout stages.

The final of the women's’ competition takes place at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on August 19.

This will be Colin Lordan’s first time in the men's squad for International Cup, but he has represented Ireland in the European games. He plays his Irish Aussie Rules with Leeside Lions in Cork.

A member of Limerick SFC winning panels with Dromcollogher-Broadford, Lordan first played Aussie Rules while living in Canada a number of years ago.

The Irish Warriors have twice won the event before in 2002 and 2011 and face a difficult draw in Division 1 as they are due to meet reigning Champions Papua New Guinea, France, European Champions Great Britain and New Zealand, who have never placed outside the top 4 and were winners in 2005.

Should the team be successful in the group stage they will qualify for a Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 19.

Both Irish teams will wear a special change strip in the competition honouring the memory of the late great Jim Stynes, who died five years ago.

Jim’s younger brother David has played in both Ireland’s winning teams in the mens division in the past and will be involved again in the backroom team.