Hanley set to stay in AFL for long haul

Mayo hopes that Pearce Hanley would return to the county colours from the AFL appear to be fading after his club Brisbane have moved to secure his services for the long-term.

The 24-year-old Ballaghaderreen native had previously stated his desire to return one day to help Mayo win an All-Ireland. Hanley is out of contract at the end of the season and several clubs have made inquiries about his availability.

However Hanley is keen to sign a new deal with Brisbane.

“Your footie does the talking when it comes to contracts so I’m happy for Paul [Connors, his agent] and the club to sort it out whenever. If it is soon, the middle of the year or late in the season, all I want to do is play good football,” Hanley said.

“I’m enjoying where Brisbane are heading. We’ve had a few tough years but it looks like we’ve got a bright future and I want to be a part of that.”

Hanley recently finished reading Jim Stynes’ book My Journey and while he shies away from any comparison to the Dubliner, he has been inspired by his feats.

“If I can keep improving and keep getting better and those accolades come then so be it. I’ve heard so much about Jim and I enjoyed his book an inspiration,” he said.

“He put his head down and worked hard and overcame so much.

” I didn’t even know what a Brownlow was when I came to Australia but for him to win one is just incredible.

“From where I’ve come from where everything was new to me I knew I had to work hard. You soon realise that the more you work, the better you get. I reckon I’ve definitely got a lot more improvement in me too.’

His desire to stay at the Gabba would please senior coach Michael Voss.

“People talk about the likes of Rich, Redden and Rockliff when they talk about this club’s future but you can throw Pearce into that category as well,” Voss said.

“There is a daring element in his game that we encourage. You feel like his development phase is done. It’s time for him to establish himself as a real player in this competition.

“He is ready to take that step. He has met every challenge so far. He is a genuine playmaker that breaks lines which makes him very valuable.”

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