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Mayo Siblings Are Latest Irish Recruits To Sign Professionally Down Under

Mayo Siblings Are Latest Irish Recruits To Sign Professionally Down Under
By Aonghus Ó Maicín

Mayo's Kelly sisters, Niamh and Grace, have become the latest GAA stars to map out a career for themselves in Australia. The pair, fresh out of a league campaign with Mayo, were confirmed as members of the West Coast Eagles panel for the 2020 season.

The sisters will join fellow Mayo players Sarah Rowe and Cora Staunton in the league, after they resigned for Collingwood and Great Western Sydney respectively, according to the AFLW website.

Fortunately for Mayo manager Peter Leahy and his squad, these developments should not affect the county's championship campaign.

Speaking to the media earlier this month, Mayo captain and the younger of the sisters, Niamh, spoke about the possibility of heading abroad to play professionally. But while expressing an interest in such an opportunity, she did not reveal plans were already in the works.

It would depend on your circumstances at the time; it’s a huge opportunity to be able to play professional sport in a different country. It came at the right time for Sarah [Rowe].

Sarah was saying that the Irish girls that did go out got on really well, so I think they are looking to bring over more Irish girls for the 2020 season.

Clare's Ailish Considine will also return to Australia in the coming months where she will play with Adelaide while Tipperary's Aisling McCarthy will ply her trade with the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne.

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Likewise, Donegal's Yvonne Bonner will return to Great Western Sydney.

The Kelly sisters, however, are major foreign signings for the Perth-based side who are only joining the nascent league next season. First, though, the Bohola Moy Davitts duo will have the opportunity to team up with Sarah Rowe again this summer after the Kilmoremoy ace missed most of the league.

All three started the 2017 All-Ireland final with Mayo, but after a disappointing campaign last season they will be hoping to navigate their way back to another decider in Croke Park before packing the gear bags for the Antipodes.

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Mayo's championship campaign begins against Galway in the Connacht final on Sunday, June 23. Once the All-Ireland series draws to a close, the AFLW season - with the West Coast Eagles, Gold Coast Suns, St Kilda and Richmond new additions in an expanded league - is expected to begin in early 2020.

SEE ALSO: 18-Year-Old Kate O'Connor Breaks Irish Senior Heptathlon Record

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