GAA | Cathal McShane to join Adelaide Crows for pre-season

Cathal McShane will join AFL club Adelaide Crows for pre-season training later this month.

The Tyrone forward has been heavily linked with a move to Australia, with Red Hand manager Mickey Harte confirming the 2019 All-Star’s interest in a move down under on Sunday.

It was widely reported that McShane had been offered a two-year deal by the Brisbane Lions, but the Crows have confirmed that the 24-year-old will touch down in Adelaide for pre-season training.

“We’re looking forward to Cathal joining our pre-season training program and getting to know him a bit better,” Crows general manager list management and strategy Justin Reid said.

“He has the physical attributes, coming in at a touch over 190 centimetres. He’s also strong in the air and can kick on both feet.

“Once he lands in Adelaide, it’ll provide the opportunity to understand more about our club, our philosophies and what our program looks like.”

The Crows can still sign McShane as a Category B rookie for this season.

McShane enjoyed a superb season in 2019 after being moved into the full-forward line for the league.

The 6″4 forward benefited from the spring’s experimental offensive mark rule, and proved how dangerous he could be for Harte’s side as a powerful target man.

McShane finished as the Championship’s joint-top scorer alongside Kerry’s Sean O’Shea, amassing a tally of 3-48 in nine Championship games for the Ulster county, including more points from play than any other player.

He scored seven points from play in Tyrone’s All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final defeat to Kerry.

Persistent reports in recent weeks have linked the Owen Rua forward to the AFL, with former Tyrone great Sean Cavanagh backing a move to the professional ranks down under.

Speaking to the BBC following Tyrone’s defeat to Cavan on Sunday, Harte claimed McShane has a better future in Ireland than Australia.

“He (McShane) has been wooed by some people in the AFL,” Harte told the BBC.

“I think he’s gone out there for a few days to see what that might be like.

“There has been no final decision yet on whether he’s going to go or whether he will stay with us but, at the moment, he’s certainly considering that move.”