Former Cork minor hurler Aisake Ó hAilpín will join his brother Setanta on the Carlton Blues' senior list next week, the Melbourne-based club have confirmed.
The 21-year-old Ó hAilpín is in his third season on the Blues' rookie list - the maximum for an international rookie - but despite picking up a season-ending groin injury, he has done enough to be elevated to the club's senior ranks for the 2008 season.
Ó hAilpín has impressed for Carlton's VFL affiliate club Northern Bullants and was on the verge of making his senior debut for Carlton last month but injury ruled him out of contention.
Having established himself as a talented ruckman for the Bullants, he recently had surgery on his groin after consultation with Carlton's medical staff. However, Carlton official Steven Icke expects the Irishman to be "ready to go for the start of our pre-season."
Old brother Setanta, 24, has had his best season to date since moving Down Under over three years ago.
The former Young Hurler of the Year has started all 15 of Carlton's AFL Premiership games to date in 2007, scoring seven goals in the process and showing his versatility by playing at full-back, in the ruck and at full-forward.
Carlton's ruck coach Gary Dempsey, a former Brownlow medallist, has been excited by the progress of the Cork pair.
"The thing about Aisake and Setanta is they are the most intense pair I have ever met. When you work with them it's full on. The biggest problem is I have to tell them to calm down," he told the Herald Sun.
"Setanta just wants to do a thousand contests at training. He just wants to keep crashing into me. It's the old bull-at-the-gate syndrome.
"Aisake is taller and can jump higher. They have done an marvellous job, those two. For two hurling stars, who aren't even Gaelic footballers, it's just incredible."