CELTIC COHORT: The Lismore Swans now has three Irishmen on it's senior men's team with captain Eoghan McNutt (left) joined by veteran compatriots Tomas Henry (middle) and Shane Sweeney (right).
CELTIC COHORT: The Lismore Swans now has three Irishmen on it's senior men's team with captain Eoghan McNutt (left) joined by veteran compatriots Tomas Henry (middle) and Shane Sweeney (right).

Irish eyes smiling on the Lismore Swans

AUSSIE Rules is on hold but the Lismore Swans AFL Club are already planning their assault on the local AFL Queensland competition when the 2020 season resumes.

The Swans have always welcomed players from a multitude of cultural, geographical and sporting backgrounds – and now have a trio of Irish lads giving the game a right crack.

Appropriately gathered at Oakes Ovals on St Patrick’s Day last week, the Celtic cohort comprises the recently appointed Swans captain Eoghan McNutt, 29, who has returned to the town of his birth to don the red and white jersey, along with compatriots Shane Sweeney, 30 and Tomas Henry, 34.

Between the three, their sporting prowess features robust experience in activities ideal for success on the footy field, including boxing, Gaelic football and the gruelling sport of hurling, which another Swans player dryly described as being, “kind of like hockey without protective gear or rules.”

McNutt said despite their jocular behaviour off the ground, this trio took their footy and club commitment very seriously.

According to Swans senior men’s team coach, Joey Mitchell, the players all bring a high level of commitment to the team and the club.

“These boys having been playing and are raring to go,” he said.

Club president Laura Cahill also recently welcomed to four new players from Tennant Creek, a small town 500km north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Cahill said the new influx of players, who will work with their current team of great players, was exciting.

However she acknowledged it may be some time before they were able to run out onto the ground.

“We are looking forward to starting the season with our three Irish blokes and our four lads from Tennant Creek,” she said.

“It’s going to be an interesting 2020.

McNutt, Sweeny and Henry are part of the Celtic cohort playing Aussie rules and are in good company with 14 others from the old country playing in premier AFL clubs.