Owen Mulligan on Cathal McShane: GAA accolades don’t pay the bills

Owen Mulligan gave us his thoughts on the AFL flirting with his fellow countyman Cathal McShane

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Around Tyrone for the past month there have been Chinese whispers about Cathal McShane been scouted for a move to Oz to play for Brisbane lions.

McShane’s performances alone last year were nothing short of pure brilliance. His direct running, showing for the ball, scoring and bringing others into play is what got him his well-deserved All-Star and all the accolades with it.

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The AFL has been flirting with our players for years now, offering lucrative contracts and the option of being a professional athlete, along with the sun and the lifestyle. McShane’s physique and physical power that he possesses is a massive attraction for the Aussies, and the full forward position that he mastered for Tyrone this year scoring 3-48 is very similar to the position in AFL.

Social media has been going mental with people giving their own opinions.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t take this opportunity of a lifetime?

The GAA is a great community, and winning All Ireland medals minor, U21, senior and all-stars for your County is your ultimate gold. McShane has ticked a few of these boxes already at such an early age. My father once said to me, “no matter how many medals and awards you’ve won, they’ll not buy the grocery in Asda.

The financial gain from signing a two-year contract with the option of an extension would give any lad and his family a great head start in life.

Of course, there are some sad stories about players travelling over and it not working out.

Micky Harte came out and said that in his interview after the McKenna cup game against Cavan. Harte will try everything to keep his prize asset in the red hand jersey as he did with Sean Cavanagh all them years ago when the Aussie vultures were circling again.

Micky has never been a fan of the compromise rules series, and made no bones about it. Tyrone haven’t been that far away the past two years from the promised land and Micky Harte has every right to feel annoyed and frustrated that Brisbane Lions are trying to derail the county’s chances.

McShane has a massive decision to make, either go to the AFL and become the success stories that Harte didn’t mention in his interview while just slating all the recruiters; players like the late Jim Stynes who won the Brownlow medal for player of the season, Tadhg Kennelly who won the league championship with Sydney Swans and came back to win an All-Ireland for Kerry, Marty Clarke, McKenna and Glass. The list goes on.

Or he can stay and play for Tyrone and push for that All-Ireland the fans and County want back. When you think of it, it’s not a bad headache to have in January.

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