CORK U-21 star Ciarán Sheehan is set to become the latest Irish player to be recruited by AFL club Carlton.
The 18-year-old is likely to join the Melbourne side next season as an international rookie, with Carlton already having lodged papers with AFL authorities.
Sheehan, who will play a central role for Cork in next Monday’s All-Ireland U-21 football final, is set to travel to Australia for training with the club in July after completing his Leaving Cert before returning to Ireland for the remainder of the summer.
“We’ve been following Ciarán since he was 15,” Carlton recruitment officer Gerard Sholly revealed yesterday.
“We’ve followed him closely and maintained contact with him, and he’s already been over to Australia, because he has family in Perth. Carlton has now lodged the papers with the AFL.
“He will come over here in July, I believe, to do some training with them and then head back to Ireland before coming back.”
Sholly described Sheehan as an outstanding athlete who would play in the midfield with the Blues. Sheehan will link up with fellow Corkman Setanta Ó hAilpín in the Carlton set-up, while current Cork senior footballers Michael Shields and Aisake Ó hAilpín have previously figured on the books of the Melbourne club.
Sheehan was unavailable for comment last night but it is understood that the move will take place. Meanwhile Sheehan’s Cork U-21 teammate Shane McCarthy will have his appeal against the suspension that threatens his availability for next Monday’s All-Ireland decider, heard in Croke Park tonight. McCarthy was sent off in the closing stages of Cork’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over Dublin and his absence would be a major blow to Cork’s hopes of victory against Down.
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