Carlton’s Tuohy itching to line-up against Aussies

IRELAND’s rising Aussie Rules star Zach Tuohy is determined to play for his country against the Aussies in the forthcoming International Rules series.

The Carlton FC player is one of four AFL-based players whom the Rules management are understood to have in mind for the series.

Before leaving Australia for Ireland, Tuohy said he is more than happy to get involved in Anthony Tohill’s squad.

“I will 110% put my hand up for it,” he said.

“If I get the chance to play for Ireland – I would absolute love it.”

Tuohy has realised quickly that the AFL is a big deal in Australia, so when it comes to the Irish playing Down Under, Touhy expects little support for the players based out there.

“I wouldn’t expect any support from the Aussies – that’s just the way it is,” he smiled.

“I think I am starting to realise that it is like a religion out here and I am starting to appreciate that it is at times the be all and end all.”

Carlton are expected to offer the defender a new contract.

The 2011 season saw Carlton become the first club to field two Irish players on the senior side since Melbourne’s star duo of Jim Stynes and Seán Wight, with Setanta Ó hAilpín joining Touhy on the field.

Touhy – a Leinster minor winning player with Laois in 2007 – explains that it has been his dream to play professionally.

“I kicked the leather off an AFL ball practising to get out here,” said the 22-year-old.

“This is what I always wanted. There is no issue and will never be an issue of homesickness.

“I kinda of had an idea two years before I headed out that I might come out here – so I practised a lot.

“I can remember years ago watching a documentary made by Setanta Ó hAilpín and thinking ‘isn’t that a great lifestyle and isn’t he doing well for himself’ and all of a sudden I’m out here playing with him.

“Obviously back home you don’t get the opportunity to play professional so I guess that makes me even that little bit more grateful to Carlton.

“Hopefully I can prove them right and get a few more decent games under my belt.”

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