Setanta steps up Down Under

FORMER Young Hurler of the Year Setanta Ó hAilpín has been elevated to the Carlton Blues’ senior list for the 2006 Aussie Rules season.

The 22-year-old, who has been with the Melbourne-based Blues' VFL feeder club, the Northern Bullants, for the past season, is one of 33 players on the senior list, which was confirmed yesterday.

Ó hAilpín will wear the number 19 jersey next year. The 2003 Allstar has played once in the AFL Premiership since moving Down Under he scored with his first kick against Richmond in May.

Ó hAilpín's younger brother Aisake, who linked up with Carlton in December last year, is one of three players to be retained as second-year rookies.

Older brother Seán Óg, who recently played for Ireland in the International Rules Series, is prolonging his stay in Australia to experience some training with Carlton.

Setanta, who has added 12kg to his 6ft 6in, 99kg frame, told the Herald Sun newspaper: "When I first came out here I set goals, one of which was to play senior football and another to make Carlton's senior list.

"Now the bar is raised higher and I've got to become a regular senior player and that won't happen until I improve my consistency.

"But I know what I want to do and just watching Tadhg Kennelly stand on that podium on Grand Final day, with the medal around his neck, was awesome.

"I admire Tadhg so much, look up to him so much and he has helped me enormously. Now I want to do the same thing that he's done."

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