Tipperary ladies footballer Aisling McCarthy has extended her contract with AFLW side West Coast Eagles to run to 2023.
The Cahir woman signed a two-year deal with the Eagles last year, having spent the two previous seasons with the Western Bulldogs.
McCarthy started life in Aussie Rules as a forward for the Bulldogs before switching to midfield, with the Eagles' coach Daniel Pratt praising her as "probably our most consistent player" alongside Bella Lewis, who pipped McCarthy to the club's best and fairest award by three votes (40 to 37).
McCarthy played seven games last season, averaging 14 disposals, five tackles, and 266 metres gained per match.
The 2017 All-Ireland Intermediate player of the year's season was hampered by a knee injury that has prevented her from lining out for Tipperary since her return.
“It’s really good to sign Aish on again. Her injuries really restricted her this year from being her best, but along with Bella she’s probably our most consistent player when she’s on the park,” said Pratt.
“Having Aish’s quality in the midfield, especially regaining (Dana) Hooker next year after her injury and ‘Swanny’ (Emma Swanson) fully fit, able to get through a full pre-season, I feel like our midfield is going to keep growing.
“The strength will be seen on game day.”
The club website paid tribute to the Premier baller: “Aisling McCarthy is a force to be reckoned with on-field, with sheer grit and resolve exuding through her playing style.
“The pragmatic onballer possesses an exhilarating and unique football sense, whilst also maintaining a strong clearance ability through congestion.
“As well as this, the Best Club Person runner-up has an unparalleled work rate, sitting second in the Eagles’ line-up for metres gained in the 2021 season.
“McCarthy came in at fourth for contested possessions, third in clearances and tackles, and first in inside 50 entries, making her an important asset to the West Coast outfit going forward.”
McCarthy is among a dozen Irish recruits set for a return to Australia next season, including Tipperary team-mate and AFLW champion Orla O’Dwyer (Brisbane Lions), her Eagles team-mates Grace and Niamh Kelly, Dublin duo Sinéad Goldrick and Lauren Magee (Melbourne Demons), Sarah Rowe and Aishling Sheridan (Collingwood), Aileen Gilroy (North Melbourne), and Ailish Considine (Adelaide Crows).
GWS Giants also named Cora Staunton and Bríd Stack on their re-signing list, although it is understood that the Cork woman has yet to confirm her return to Oz.