Australian Rules outfit Carlton Blues have officially announced the signing of Cork's Ciaran Sheehan, boosting the Irish ranks at the Melbourne club to three players.
Sheehan, who caught the eye of Carlton during Ireland's recent International Rules hammering of Australia, will join up at Carlton with fellow rookie Ciaran Byrne and Laois man Zach Tuohy who is now an established figure in the AFL Premiership.
Despite being just 22, Sheehan has already achieved a huge amount in inter-county Gaelic football with his list of honours including Munster, Allianz League and All-Ireland titles, Munster and All-Ireland Under-21 crowns and Munster minor hurling and football titles.
The Éire Óg clubman, who is taking up a two-year deal, admitted the opportunity to play professional sport Down Under was something he just could not refuse.
He had previously trained with Carlton back in 2009, taking up an invitation to try out Aussie Rules along with Tuohy. While Tuohy stayed and has made a great success of his AFL career to date - scoring a career high 13 goals this season - Sheehan, who was just 18 at the time, became homesick and decided to return home to Ireland.
But as Carlton's GM-Football Operations Andrew McKay explained on the club's official website, www.carltonfc.com.au, Sheehan recently indicated he would like to have a second bite at Aussie Rules and the Blues were happy to give him the opportunity.
"Since coming to Carlton back in '09, Ciaran has continued playing good Gaelic footy and was one of the best in the recent International Rules Series in Ireland," said McKay.
"When he first came over he was very skillful with both feet, a very balanced and a very powerful runner, so he has all the attributes to play Australian Rules football.
"Hopefully we can develop his skills next year and get a few games into him, with bigger and better things to come."
Carlton have confirmed that Sheehan is coming on board as a rookie signing, while the 18-year-old Byrne - another of the leading lights in last month's International Rules series - is joining the Blues as a 'Category B' international rookie.