Cathal McShane: Tadhg Kennelly says forward 'will play for Tyrone this year'

Cathal McShane
McShane did not play in Tyrone's Dr McKenna Cup win over Cavan on Sunday

All-Ireland winner Tadhg Kennelly has said Cathal McShane will play for Tyrone this year, despite reports linking him with a move to Australia.

Kennelly, a coach with Sydney Swans, believes it is too late for the Red Hands forward to be named in an AFL playing squad for this season.

Adelaide Crows said McShane will train with them this month, while he has also been linked with Brisbane Lions.

"He will be playing with Tyrone in the championship this year," Kennelly said.

Speaking on Newstalk, he explained: "The AFL's final playing list has been lodged for the 2020 season so he can't play this year. He can come out in July if he did get selected in the mid-season draft but that is highly unlikely for an international player.

Tadhg Kennelly
Kennelly was an All-Ireland winner as a player with Kerry

"Generally, the mid-season draft in the AFL is for a club that has had a number of injuries in a position where they then go to a lower league and pick up a player to put straight on their list.

"So, [McShane] can't play this season. He'll be playing for Tyrone."

Initial reports last week suggested that the 24-year-old would travel to Australia to assess whether to accept an offer to join AFL outfit Brisbane Lions, with Tyrone boss Mickey Harte telling BBC Sport on Sunday that the player had yet to make a decision on the move.

The Crows then announced on Monday that he would train with them "in the coming weeks".

"We're looking forward to Cathal joining our pre-season training programme and getting to know him a bit better," said Crows general manager Justin Reid.

"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 programme looks like."

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Mickey Harte's sadness at ex-GAA players 'doing AFL's bidding'

Harte commented on McShane's reported move to Brisbane after the Red Hands' Dr McKenna Cup win over Cavan, in which McShane did not feature.

"He is going out there for a few days to experience what that might be like. There is no final decision on whether he is going to go," he said.

"He says he's going out there for a 10 or 12-day experience to see whether it is for him or not. At this moment in time he has not committed to anything."

Harte, a long-time critic of the GAA's relationship with the AFL, once again hit out at what he called "recruits for the AFL within our own ranks".

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