Blow for Mayo as Lions lure Hanley back

HOPES Mayo’s Pearce Hanley would join the growing number of players turning their backs on Aussie Rules and return to play gaelic football have been dashed.

Mayo manager John O’Mahony confirmed yesterday the talented 20-year-old had signed a new deal in Brisbane and would be returning to play in Australia.

Hanley made his debut for Mayo as an 18-year-old against Cavan in the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2007. However, he was snapped up by the Brisbane Lions later that year having been voted the Irish player of the tournament in a youths international series in Australia the previous season.

Hanley, a club colleague of O’Mahony’s in Ballaghaderreen, is home on holidays now that the Aussie Rules season is over, and there was considerable speculation that he might follow in the footsteps of Down’s Marty Clarke, Kevin Dyas of Armagh and Carlow’s Brendan Murphy and return to play with his native county.

“I spoke to Pearce and it remains his intention to come back and play with Mayo at some stage but, unfortunately, that time is not now,” said O’Mahony.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up