Mayo star Matthew Ruane is expected to be among the 36 men and women that will undergo rigorous testing at the AFL Europe Draft Combine in Dublin next December.
The AFL will be hosting its first combine for its AFLW franchises on Irish soil, taking place directly after the now long established men’s testing.
Olivia Divilly (Galway), who proved a sensation at the AFLW Draft Combine in Melbourne recently, will be joined by Saoirse Noonan (Cork) and Vikki Wall (Meath), who also created a positive impression in front of the AFLW scouts four weeks ago.
The trio opted not to go forward to the draft for the upcoming season but are still hot prospects to make the transition in the future.
In all, 20 men will be testing for AFL teams and 16 women for the AFLW.
Ruane, who has been a revelation since breaking through into the Mayo seniors this year, was involved in kicking coaching sessions at Belfield three weeks ago and is said to be on the radar of a number of clubs.
Others expected to participate are Oisín Gallen (Donegal), who took part in the AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne with Essendon-bound Cian McBride (Meath) at the beginning of October, and his county compatriot Peadar Mogan, who has already been on trials Down Under this year.
The men will be displaying their wares under the watchful eye of former Down and Collingwood footballer, Marty Clarke.
Clarke will be providing coaching and mentoring support at the women’s combine but it is Louth’s Ciarán Byrne, who played at senior level for Carlton in the AFL, who is charged with preparing and developing female talent in Ireland.
The men’s combine takes place from December 5-7, with the women’s combine on December 7-8.
Players will be tested for fitness, athleticism, speed and endurance, and will also be interviewed. They will be coached through a skills session before taking part in a modified game that will be played partly with a round ball and partly with the oval Sherrin used in Aussie rules.
AFL/AFLW officials will also make a presentation to players and family members.