In the latest instance, it is Australia doing the poaching by luring Gaelic footballer Cathal McShane to play Aussie Rules.
Nice to see that the knife cuts in both directions on occasion.
McShane plays for County Tyrone in Northern Ireland and was named Ireland’s best full forward in 2019.
In the case than anyone is wondering, being the best full forward in Ireland received a Belleek Living vase, some training gear from a sports gear maker and a pair of engraved silver cufflinks.
McShane is touring Down Under, maybe to find a shirt with the requisite French cuffs in order to wear his silver hardware, but more importantly, he is trying to get an AFL job.
This is the sort of code hop we find irresistible, as he will need to adapt to an ovoid ball, as opposed to the round one used for Gaelic football, but he seems to have the sort of physicality and ambition that should serve well if he can make the transition successfully.
McShane is Down Under for a look around and the potential exists for him to sign as a Category B rookie for Adelaide Crows.
McShane had been linked to Brisbane Lions in recent days and if it were us and given the choice, that would seem to be the better move in terms of the ladder, but in terms of ground time, Adelaide enjoys the upper hand.
Tyrone was dismal in 2019, not unlike the Emerald Island weather, but his coach Mickey Harte, while supportive of McShane from the business viewpoint, expressed disdain for AFL clubs poaching Gaelic footballers.
“I’ve not been a fan of the engagement we’ve had with the AFL over many, many years now,” Harte said.
We are not aware of any AFL footy players who have gone the other direction, but that is not to imply that it has never happened.
Most players than make the jump hop in the direction of the money and McShane might find a lucrative market for both his athletic ability and his silver cufflinks with Adelaide.