Mulligan on McShane: 'Who in their right mind wouldn’t take this opportunity of a lifetime?'

Owen Mulligan says Cathal McShane is entitled to pursue an Aussie Rules career, amid calls for the GAA to cut ties with the AFL since reports emerged of the All-Star full-forward's potential move.

Mulligan on McShane: 'Who in their right mind wouldn’t take this opportunity of a lifetime?'

Owen Mulligan says Cathal McShane is entitled to pursue the "opportunity of a lifetime" of an Aussie Rules career, amid calls for the GAA to cut ties with the AFL since reports emerged of the All-Star full-forward's potential move.

McShane is due to travel to Australia to further explore the possibility of joining the Adelaide Crows or Brisbane Lions, although Tyrone manager Mickey Harte insisted nothing has been signed yet.

Mulligan, a three-time All-Ireland-winner under Harte, says his former manager "has every right to feel annoyed and frustrated that Brisbane Lions are trying to derail the county’s chances".

"Harte will try everything to keep his prize asset in the red hand jersey as he did with Sean Cavanagh all them years ago when the Aussie vultures were circling again," Mulligan said in his Paddy Power column.

Mulligan added, however, the opportunity to be a professional athlete may be too good for McShane to turn down.

"Who in their right mind wouldn’t take this opportunity of a lifetime?

"The GAA is a great community and winning All-Ireland medals, minor, U21, senior, and All-Stars, for your county is your ultimate goal. McShane has ticked a few of these boxes already at such an early age.

"My father once said to me, 'no matter how many medals and awards you’ve won, they’ll not buy the grocery in Asda'.

"The financial gain from signing a two-year contract with the option of an extension would give any lad and his family a great head start in life."

Harte is already down injured captain Mattie Donnelly and forward Connor McAlliskey, who opted out for 2020, while McShane’s 2013 Tyrone minor teammate Conor McKenna has been starring for Essendon six years into his move to Australia.

"McShane has a massive decision to make, either go to the AFL and become [one of] the success stories that Harte didn’t mention in his interview while just slating all the recruiters," said Mulligan.

"Players like the late Jim Stynes who won the Brownlow medal for player of the season, Tadhg Kennelly who won the league championship with Sydney Swans and came back to win an All-Ireland for Kerry, Marty Clarke, McKenna, and [Conor] Glass. The list goes on.

"Or he can stay and play for Tyrone and push for that All-Ireland the fans and county want back. When you think of it, it’s not a bad headache to have in January."

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