DOWN football received a timely boost yesterday with the news of Jamie O’Reilly’s return home from AFL side Richmond Tigers.
The Mourne men have been decimated by the loss of Caolan Mooney and, this week, Marty Clarke’s decision to return to Collingwood. Therefore the news the Loughinisland clubman broke off preliminary contract discussions with the Tigers to return to finish his business Degree at Queen’s University will come as a huge fillip for the side.
O’Reilly, a former U21 county man, lined out in a club game for Loughinisland last weekend. He played as a running defender in Australia and his scorching pace would be a big addition to the Mourne’s senior set-up.
However, with Clarke looking for a leadership role in Collingwood, he will be ensuring county team-mate Caolan Mooney enjoys his time in Australia.
“I really want to support both Caolan and Paul. It is something I am looking forward to, I think I can be a great support both on and off the field. Caolan has returned home after a month’s training at Collingwood and returns for the start of training. He lives only a 10 minute drive from my home so Caolan and I have been training regularly. Believe me he is a talent. I think Caolan will play quickly, he has unbelievable speed and agility he picked up his kicking very quickly.”