Former Irish Magpie Caolan Mooney has nominated for this week’s NAB AFL Draft in a bid to return to the game he left at the end of the 2014 season.
According to afl.com.au, Mooney is hopeful of getting picked up in the draft as he strives to rekindle his six-game career which he cut short with another year left on his contract to return home.
Mooney made his AFL debut against Fremantle, a week after kicking five goals in the VFL where he was a regular goalkicker.
The 184cm athlete was a substitute in all of his six senior matches for the Pies in 2012 and 2013 and injuries held him back on occasion.
Reflecting on his AFL stint at a Gaelic Athletic Association event two years ago, he said he would have benefited in going to Australia at a more advanced age.
“The first two years when I went, I was still naive, and I thought, ‘This is brilliant – I’m getting paid to kick a football’,” Mooney said at the time.
“In my third year, I thought, ‘This wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be’.
“If I had went out a bit older or if I had a bit of college experience (it might have worked out differently).
“Being thrown out there and living away from home by yourself was a tough ask, and by the third year … I was sick of it and wanted to get home.”
Mooney has retained the traits that made him appealing when he first came to Australia, with his breakneck speed and athleticism seeing him become one of the outstanding players in Gaelic football.
The County Down star has kept in touch with Australian Football by training alongside younger Irish prospects working with another former Magpie, Marty Clarke.
There are already set to be a record 17 Irishmen on AFL lists next year.