Geelong recruiting manager Stephen Wells is set to welcome Mayo star Oisin Mullin to the AFL club this week after it was confirmed he will join as a Category B rookie.
Mullin agreed to sign for the Victorian club back in November of last year before changing his mind and remaining in Ireland. They stayed in contact and he re-signed ahead of the 2023 season.
Speaking to the AFL Exchange podcast, Wells also said a chance meeting played a part in the move. Several Geelong Premiership winners travelled to Ireland in early October to watch Mark O’Connor’s Dingle in the Kerry county championship. That night they met Mullin, who happened to be in Dingle at a stag party.
“He is a good young man. It just turned out last year with a little bit of uncertainty around Covid and getting out here, we were hoping he was going to be out here for the start of pre-season. It got into 2022, January and February came around and in the end he didn’t get here.
“He has had another good season of Gaelic footy, he is a good quality young man and in the end he is as excited about coming out, perhaps even more excited than he was that year.
“As it turns out, a lot of our guys went out to Ireland to watch Mark O’Connor play and Zach Tuohy got married over there. They ran into him and perhaps that has got him excited about coming too. He is a running player; he is not a big fella, more of a defender.
“He is actually arriving tomorrow.” Geelong have three Irish players at the club. Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor played in the grand final victory over Sydney Swans in September while Mayo’s Rachel Kearns plays for their AFLW side.
Wells said two-time young footballer of the year Mullin has been working on his skills ahead of the move.
“Coming from Ireland, we want people who can run and have a natural game sense for our game. The ones that make a great success at it are normally very athletic and can learn to kick the ball quickly. Oisin has been doing a bit of work on his kicking over there.
“We are confident he can turn that into the right level of skill for us. The run and carry and a bit of overhead work is all important. There is no doubt it is still a very different game and normally the Irishmen take a little bit of time to catch up. Going the other side of the world would be hard enough but then to play a completely different game, it is really interesting.”