Mayo Man Named As One Of The Top 50 Players In Aussie Rules

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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As the start of the 2015 season approaches, the AFL's official website has begun counting down the top 50 players in the league as selected by the players themselves.

An Irishman has been named at number 37.


That player is Mayo's Pearce Hanley. From Ballaghaderreen, he joined the Brisbane Lions in 2007 and made his debut the following year.

The website names him as one of Brisbane's "most damaging" players and cites his elusiveness and composure as being some of his key skills.

Hanley enjoyed an incredible end to 2014, but will not be seen until the mid-point of this year after undergoing pre-season hip surgery. He is close to the Lions' most damaging player with his ability to run-and-carry the ball, elude defenders with a step or swerve, and then have the composure to finish off with a pinpoint pass or shot at goal. The 26-year-old averaged 30 disposals a game over the final nine rounds last season, yet it's the impact of those possessions that makes him so valuable. Often the first Lion tagged these days, he is capable of single-handedly winning games and is heading towards the peak of his powers.

As the site mentions, Hanley is currently out injured due to a hip problem. It was initially expected to sideline him for 12 weeks but that was then upgraded to 18. He is likely to miss more than half of the upcoming season.


Pearce is not the only Hanley on the books at Brisbane. His brother Cian, captain of the Mayo minors in 2014, joined him at the club this year.

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