The latest Irish name to look out for in the AFL: Darragh Joyce.
Joyce captained the Kilkenny hurlers to All-Ireland minor success in 2014, and caught the eye of AFL scouts when kicking ball for his school in 2015. Remarkably, having not played Gaelic football with his club, Joyce joined St Kilda the following year.
The odyssey continues this weekend, as the club today confirmed that Joyce is now in line for his senior debut against Melbourne on Sunday.
St Kilda shared a video of the moment Joyce was told he will be involved this weekend:
We couldn't be happier for you, @JoyceD97!
— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 29, 2018
Joyce was also told of the news in sufficient time to allow his mother to hop on a plane, and she will be in the crowd for the big moment on Sunday as Joyce told the club's website.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with Spud [Frawley, defensive coach] on bodywork to put me in a good position to either intercept or spoil it, so just doing the basics week in, week out, and a lot of kicking with Lindsay [Gilbee, attacking coach] as well, so it’s all paying off.
It’s been a big journey for me, so to get here, there’s been a lot of hard work over the last year, but hopefully it’s the first of many.
Me Mam’s on the way over now, so she’ll be here in less than 24 hours, which is great.