GAA | Cathal McShane turns down AFL move

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Cathal McShane will remain in Ireland after turning down a move to the AFL.

Tyrone forward McShane flew to Australia for a 10-day trial with Adelaide Crows last month, but has now turned down the chance to move to South Australia.

The Crows confirmed the 24-year-old’s decision on their website, wishing the 2019 All-Star the best in the future.

“It is a big decision to relocate to the other side of the world and pursue a professional career in a different sport,” Adelaide list manager Justin Reid said.

“Ultimately, this was not something that Cathal was ready for and we wish him the very best in his endeavours both on and off the field.

“We will continue to look for opportunities to bring talent into our club.”

The news will come as a massive boost to Tyrone and Mickey Harte, who seemed resigned to losing their star forward to the lures of the AFL.

“I always said I wouldn’t give up hope until I was sure that he (McShane) had signed an alternative arrangement,” Harte said after the Red Hand’s defeat to Monaghan.

“I’m not sure that that has happened yet, but I know that it’s on the agenda.”

McShane, who finished as the Championship’s joint-top scorer in 2019, was in the crowd for Tyrone’s Division 1 win over Meath in the opening weekend of the Allianz League.

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.

The target man will now likely link up with the Ulster county, who reached the All-Ireland semi-final last year, for the remainder of the league campaign.