Aussie Rules

Meath's Conor Nash Reveals The Close Bond Between The Irish Aussie Rules Players

Meath's Conor Nash Reveals The Close Bond Between The Irish Aussie Rules Players

At just 19 years of age, Meath man Conor Nash has a spectacular sporting future ahead, with multiple avenues available to him.

The former-Meath minor is currently in Melbourne playing in the AFL with the Hawthorn Hawks. The club first made contact with Nash's family when he was just 15 and were delighted to finally get him over last year after he completed his leaving cert.

Nash, a former Leinster and Ireland U18 rugby player was also offered an academy contract by Leinster, but turned it down in favour of a move down under. His first season of Aussie Rules was hindered by a hamstring injury although he did return to his club Simonstown to help them claim back-to-back Meath Senior Football County titles.

Simonstown will have to do without Nash on Sunday when they take on St. Lomans in the Leinster Semi-Final, but while he was back he spoke to his club-mate Mickey Brennan on the We Are Meath podcast.

Nash is one of a large Irish contingent in Melbourne. His current house-mate is Conor Glass of Derry who is also with the Hawks. Conor McKenna is with Essendon, Ciaran Byrne is with Carlton, Cillian McDaid just joined there while Ciaran Sheehan just finished, Darragh Joyce and Ray Connellan are with St. Kilda, Kerry's Mark O'Connor is at Geelong with Zach Tuohy.

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Nash confirmed that the Irish abroad unity is alive and well in Melbourne, explaining all the former-gaelic footballers out there are in a WhatsApp group:

We have quite a good group there in Melbourne of Irish lads, seven of us I think recently. Myself Conor Glass, Conor McKenna, Ciaran Byrne, Darragh Joyce, Ray Connellan, Ciaran Sheehan, Mark O'Connor's there in Geelong so we've a great Whatsapp group and we meet up quite regularly then when we can, either if we can't drink we'll have a feed at an Irish pub or if we can drink we might have a few pints.

Nash is known to be an absolute athlete, standing at 6ft 5in and weighing 92kg. He confirmed during the podcast that Leinster are still keeping tabs on him although he has no plans to return home just yet.

It is highly unusual for a first year recruit to make the break into the first team in his initial year, with the likes of Nash usually playing out their first year in the VFL to get up to speed.

Last year however former Derry minor captain Conor Glass did make his debut with the Hawks while Mark O'Connor did the same with Geelong. Nash will hope to make that breakthrough in the coming year.

Nash is one of the few Irish not recruited through the Tadgh Kennelly combine, instead the club made direct contact with him. Should Nash join Glass as a success, this approach may be amplified.

The whole podcast can be found here and is well worth a listen, particularly Nash's description of the entire training programme an AFL player undertakes.

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Maurice Brosnan

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