The loss of footballers to the AFL has cut ice in Kerry of late, as a result of the departure of Mark O'Connor and the rumours that David Clifford will follow him.
The Kingdom are far from the only county who have been affected by the drain of talent to the professional ranks Down Under: whereas Kildare are reaping the rewards of the return of Daniel Flynn and Paddy Brophy, Mayo are a lesser team without Pearce Hanley and Laois are crying out for Zach Tuohy.
But aside form the arguments as to whether Irish players should take flight for the AFL, this season has been notable for its promotion of young Irish talent: Mark O'Connor and Tyrone's Conor McKenna have both made their senior debut, and now a third Irishman joins that list: Derry's Conor Glass.
The former Derry minor captain signed a contract Hawthorn back in 2015, joined after his Leaving Cert in 2016, and today made his senior debut with the club, against Freemantle in Perth.
It ended in a comfortable victory for Hawthorn, winning 100-48. Glass impressed, making six touches, three marks, eight interceptions... and one big tackle.
There was one slightly strange moment: after the team had come together for a customary huddle to belt out their team song after the game, the squad came together to rub his head.
They just sang the team song then all got around Conor & rubbed his head. Is that for good luck? Maybe just getting grass stains off hands!
— Mark Loader (@RanfordStealth) July 22, 2017
The fans watching on were impressed by Glass' performance:
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 22, 2017
— Will Boyd (@Boydwvh1) July 22, 2017
Conor Glass 15 touches at 93% on debut. The Hawks have found another one.
— Michael Randall (@MickRandallHS) July 22, 2017
— Adrian (@AAhawka) July 22, 2017
Conor Glass has been superb. Looks to be an enormous talent. #AFLFreoHawks
— Paul Nolan (@pwnolan) July 22, 2017
Conor Glass is going to become one of the best players ever. #AFLFreoHawks
— Mike Ballard ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 (@MIKEBALLARD4) July 22, 2017