AFL future unclear as Brisbane set to release Begley

JUST days after playing for Ireland, Colm Begley has been dumped by Brisbane. Begley, 22, was the only AFL-listed player picked for Ireland in their one-point International Rules win over Australia in the first Test in Perth on Friday night.

The utility has been told he does not fit in new coach Michael Voss’ plans and his contract will not be renewed. Begley is expected to consider entering next month’s national draft to prolong his career.

However, Begley’s countryman Pearce Hanley has impressed Voss. The 19-year-old, from Ballaghaderreen in County Mayo, replaced Begley in the team to make his AFL debut against Carlton in round 21 this year.

The former Gaelic footballer won the Ron Barassi Medal as Ireland’s best player in the 2006 U17 international rules series against Australia.

Coincidentally, Begley helped Hanley settle in at the Lions, even flying over to Australia with the Irish youngster.

Begley played 29 games for the Lions after joining the club as an international rookie at the end of 2005.

He made his AFL debut in round 20, 2006 — just eight months after kicking the Sherrin for the first time.

In doing so he also became the 100th player to don the Lions jersey since Brisbane merged with Fitzroy in 1997.

His remarkable rise gained momentum in 2007 when he played 19 games under coach Leigh Matthews, winning rookie of the year honours. But injury hampered his 2008 season, limiting him to just eight senior appearances.


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