THE NUMBER OF Irish players currently in the AFL has risen to 14.
Sligo forward Red Óg Murphy has become the latest Gaelic footballer to make the move to Australia, after North Melbourne confirmed the signing of the youngster today.
Murphy was part of the Sligo team that reached the All-Ireland minor football quarter-finals in 2017, kicking 0-11 (0-4 from play) as they suffered a one-point loss to Derry.
He was in action for his club, Curry, on Sunday in their defeat to Shamrock Gaels in the Sligo intermediate football final replay.
During a trial in August, North Melbourne were particularly impressed by Murphy’s running capacity, which ranked in the top echelon of players at the club.
“Red was invited to Arden Street and we were really happy with his ability and character,” Cameron Joyce, North Melbourne’s General Manager of Football, told the club’s official website.
“Our recruiters, and in particular our Pro Scout Nick Byrne, have stayed in touch with him and his family over the past few months and we are really happy to have signed him as a Category-B rookie on our list.”
He added: “We did a variety of tests with Red and he was exceptional. We feel that he has the right foundations to enable him to have a real crack at playing in the AFL and we will give him every chance.”
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Welcome, Red Óg Murphy! 🇮🇪
The man from Sligo will be hoping to become the next Gaelic footballer to play in the AFL, after signing on as Category-B rookie.#BeAShinboner
— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) October 30, 2018
Conor Meredith from Laois was the last Irish player to line out for North Melbourne, who finished ninth in the 2018 regular AFL season.
Murphy’s move to the AFL sees him join a list of Irish players that already consisted of:
James Madden (Dublin – Brisbane Lions)
Mark Keane (Cork – Collingwood)
Anton Tohill (Derry – Collingwood)
Conor McKenna (Tyrone – Essendon)
Mark O’Connor (Kerry – Geelong)
Stefan Okunbor (Kerry – Geelong)
Zach Tuohy (Laois – Geelong)
Pearce Hanley (Mayo – Gold Coast)
Callum Brown (Derry – Greater Western Sydney)
Conor Glass (Derry – Hawthorn)
Conor Nash (Meath – Hawthorn)
Darragh Joyce (Kilkenny – St Kilda)
Colin O’Riordan (Tipperary – Sydney Swans)
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