A Quartet of Irishmen’s AFL Dreams

March 9, 2020 by

Frank Irwin and Oisin Mullin from County Mayo, Ultan Kelm from County Fermanagh, and County Clare’s Cillian Rouine have all been extended invitations to Australia after making their mark at the December 2019 AFL Europe Talent Combine. They are all defenders in Ireland, with Kelm and Mullin playing as senior regulars for their respective counties and Irwin and Rouine making their way through the underage ranks.

Mullin is considered to be the foursome’s brightest prospect, with many saying he’s been cast from the same mould as Pearce Hanley, the only County Mayo player to ever reach Australian Rules Football’s highest level. Mullin, 19, finished second-behind Deividas Uosis in the 20-metre Sprint, with a time of 2.86, came sixth in Agility Testing with a final time of 8.06 minutes, and shared the highest standing in the Vertical Jump, with 70 cm.

Uosis is, of course, the single standout performer from the Combine who got snapped up by the Brisbane Lions Football Club on a two-year International Rookie deal.

Irwin is both the tallest player and the youngest one, with the 17-year old clocking in at 185 cm, or just over six foot. He’s drawn comparisons to Geelong Football Club’s Mark O’Connor, who’s a fellow countryman.

20-year old Kelm took 2.87 min to cover the Sprint distance of 20 metres and Rouine, 18, wasn’t far behind, finishing in 2.9. Both players also performed solidly in all the other tests.

The Irishmen will be visiting and training with various AFL Clubs including the Essendon Bombers, Geelong Cats, and Richmond Tigers.

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