by Daragh Ó Conchúir
The so-called greening of the AFLW continues apace after Western Bulldogs brought the Irish contingent in the league to five with the drafting of Tipperary footballer, Aisling McCarthy.
McCarthy was selected at 23 in the draft and will depart soon for pre-season training, missing out much of the National League for the Premier County but back in plenty of time for the Championship.
The 21-year-old Cahir player is following the path laid by trailblazer and Mayo legend Cora Staunton, who prospered for Greater Western Sydney last year.
She was one of 11 Irish players – mostly footballers but also including fellow Tipp woman, the camogie star Mary Ryan and Ireland rugby international Mairéad Coyne - invited to participate in the CrossCoders programmed and trial for clubs last month.
Donegal’s Yvonne Bonner (GWS) and Clare’s Ailish Considine (Adelaide) were quickly snapped up as a result of those trials, and McCarthy created sufficient impression to be selected by the Bulldogs.
Mayo attacker Sarah Rowe had earlier signed terms with Collingwood, having gone on trial with a number of clubs during the summer.
McCarthy wore a Bulldogs singlet as she took to social media in the early hours of the morning to issue a message to Doggies supporters.
“I’ve a bit of a tired head on me” said McCarthy. “It’s 10 past three here in Ireland in the morning but I’m absolutely delighted to be drafted by the Bulldogs and I can’t wait to get my AFL season started this year.”