Cathal McShane believes he impressed AFL scouts during trial

All-Star Tyrone forward Cathal McShane believes he impressed the Adelaide Crows during a winter trial at the AFL club but remains content with his decision to reject their interest.
Cathal McShane believes he impressed AFL scouts during trial
Benetti Menswear brand ambassador Tomás Ó Sé is currently hosting a live Q&A series on the Benetti social media platforms. For further information you can find all interviews on the Benetti Menswear YouTube channel or at Benetti.ie. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cathal McShane, who is currently recovering from ankle surgery, was contacted by Adelaide Crows shortly after receiving his first All-Star award late last year. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cathal McShane, who is currently recovering from ankle surgery, was contacted by Adelaide Crows shortly after receiving his first All-Star award late last year. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

All-Star Tyrone forward Cathal McShane believes he impressed the Adelaide Crows during a winter trial at the AFL club but remains content with his decision to reject their interest.

Towering McShane, who is currently recovering from ankle surgery, was contacted by the Aussie Rules outfit shortly after receiving his first All-Star award late last year.

It capped a breakthrough year for the 24-year-old who was joint top scorer in the Championship with 3-48 and he underwent a two-week trial Down Under, impressing coaches enough for the club to offer him a deal to stay.

The 2018 All-Ireland finalist concluded that it wasn't for him and returned to the Tyrone panel in February though was unfortunate to suffer a serious ankle injury just weeks later in the Allianz League against Galway.

The Owen Roes clubman told Benetti Menswear ambassador Tomas O Se, in their last of a series of feature length interviews that are available on the Benetti YouTube channel, that it was a 'difficult' few months as he mulled over his situation.

"When I went out it was basically straight into training, I had a 2k time trial the second day I got there," said McShane. "I can't remember what my time was but the news I got back was that they were very, very happy with it.

"It was my second day there, I was only after arriving on a flight, a couple of days later, so my body was still recovering or adapting to their time and so on.

"Whenever I was out there, I was getting a feel for the whole thing, getting up at 8am, you train at 9 to 12, say, then after that you had the gym from 1 to 3 in the afternoon and then you're home.

"So I did Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday was a day off, Thursday, Friday was the same, Saturday morning you had a 7am session and you finish at 9 so you have the rest of the day to yourself.

"Whenever I was over there I didn't have much time to think, it was go, go go and getting used to everything. I think what I wanted to do was just see if it was for me.

"Once it was finished we sat down and had a meeting and they wanted me to stay, they were interested in me staying out there. I said no, I had to get home to speak to my family and speak to people that are close to me, important people and I stuck by that, I felt I had to do that so that's what I did.

"They respected that as well, they said, 'Listen, that's 100%'. Whenever I arrived back home - and it wasn't until I arrived back home - I said, 'You know what, I'm in a good place back here'. Just the simple things, your family, friends, teammates, the wee small things and obviously I got the career pathway with Keystone setup so that was a big opportunity for me back home too, to progress my career not just on the field but off it.

"There were loads of things I had to weigh up. Whenever the final decision was there it was just a sense of relief because it had been two to three months where it was, very difficult.

"I'm just so glad it's all finalised. I'm so happy with the decision I made, I feel it's the right decision and I'm very, very content."

The 24-year-old described his current ankle injury as a rare dislocation that 'you have a 1% chance of doing' and conceded progress 'has been slow' with access to physios and medics limited during the lockdown.

"The injury is coming on," said McShane. "If I'm being honest it has been slow. Obviously with the football being cancelled, the way I look at it is there's pros and cons to it.

"The pros are you're not missing any matches and it gives you time to do the rehab and get back to where you want to be. The downside is that maybe you're not getting access to physios and stuff like that as you would normally three nights a week.

"There's been good days and bad days but the main thing is that you just keep at it and you trust in the process basically."

With GAA chiefs pencilling in October 17 as a return to play date for inter-county action, McShane is upbeat about being available.

"Definitely, you have to hope for that," he said. "Obviously it's a good bit away. The fact that the football was cancelled was a big factor in terms of me being lucky, I have a few months now to get myself back again."

Benetti Menswear brand ambassador Tomás Ó Sé is currently hosting a live Q&A series on the Benetti social media platforms. For further information you can find all interviews on the Benetti Menswear YouTube channel or at Benetti.ie. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Benetti Menswear brand ambassador Tomás Ó Sé is currently hosting a live Q&A series on the Benetti social media platforms. For further information you can find all interviews on the Benetti Menswear YouTube channel or at Benetti.ie. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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