Tyrone’s current All-Star full-forward Cathal McShane’s links with a move to Australian Rules are not as clearcut as originally claimed.
Media reports had linked him to a move to Brisbane Lions with a contract already agreed, reported to be a six-figure annual salary.
However, Adelaide Crows confirmed on Monday that the Owen Roes clubman will join their pre-season training, with no promise of a contract offered.
Their website quotes the Crows General Manager List Management and Strategy, Justin Reid confirming the club will fly the 24-year-old to Australia in the coming weeks.
“We’re looking forward to Cathal joining our pre-season training program and getting to know him a bit better,” Reid said.
“He has the physical attributes, coming in at a touch over 190 centimetres. He’s also strong in the air and can kick on both feet.
“Once he lands in Adelaide, it’ll provide the opportunity to understand more about our Club, our philosophies and what our program looks like.”
Barry Tracey has been McShane’s club manager at Owen Roes, Leckpatrick for the last three years and has gained serious insight into his improvements and development as the club has progressed out of Junior to Intermediate level.
“All I have been told is that he has been offered the chance to go for a couple of weeks to do some testing and do a pre-season,” Tracey said.
“Of course, if you did happen to like it and something developed out of it, then you want to experience something different.
“I experienced playing in America and a lot of others did for a short period of time, but you always want to go back to your club.
“For somebody like Cathal, if it did develop into something more, it is very hard to turn your nose up at and I did say that to the lad.”
He continued: “The professional lifestyle, all Cathal wants to do is train, go to the gym, train, play football. But I would be at pains to point out that he is at the pinnacle of his game with Tyrone, he is well known throughout Ireland and with Tyrone supporters all over the world and you could be taking a gamble going to play reserve or rookie football, maybe not make it and come back maybe not the same player that you left as.
“On the flipside of that, trying to advise what is best for him, it is up to the young fella to choose what he thinks is best and it is his prerogative at the end of the day.” He added, “From speaking to him, he is going to dip his toe in the water, that’s what I got out of it. From my understanding, because it’s out there now, when I spoke to him, I said I respected that he gave me a call but I assume he had been onto Mickey Harte.
“Leaving Owen Roes is one thing and it would have a big impact on your club, but this is Tyrone, you are nationally-known player, you are an All-Star and it is a big impact on the county of Tyrone. I’m sure if anyone is going to convince you it is Mickey and what the Tyrone thing can offer you.”