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Geelong star Zach Tuohy weighs in on Oisín Mullin’s decision to stay in Ireland

Zach Tuohy Oisín Mullin

Geelong Cats star Zach Tuohy believes Oisín Mullin has what it takes to become a success in Aussie rules, but acknowledged that he may be better off staying in Ireland.

Two-time All Stars young footballer of the year Mullin recently announced that he has decided against joining AFL club Geelong Cats and beginning a professional Aussie rules career, and will be available to Mayo for 2022.

The move came as a surprise, as Mullin had signed on with Geelong on a two-year rookie contract, although the club have accepted the young Mayo man’s decision and wished him all the best for the future.

Geelong star and Laois native Tuohy was speaking on Colm ‘Wooly’ Parkinson’s Smaller Fish GAA podcast and admitted that he too had doubts about moving to Australia.

Zach Tuohy on Oisín Mullin and the difficulty of moving to Australia.

“I was desperate to come [to Australia] early days, but I came out in 2008 for a couple of weeks on a trial and I absolutely hated it. I hated it,” Tuohy admitted.

“I was really shook at the time because up to that point I was adamant that I was going to come out and play. So I kind of made myself go back even though I had doubts at that stage and it worked out fine.

“So I think there’s the potential to have doubts and get past them. I think maybe, I won’t speak for him, but Mark O’Connor was a bit unsure at stages as well and he loves it out here now and he’s an established AFL player.

“You’re right, it’s not a good base to be starting from. If you have those niggling doubts before you’ve even taken flight, it seems unlikely that you’ll stay for very long, but I suppose it can be done.”

‘It’s a pity, I would have liked to play with him.’

Mullin has of course made a different decision, and won’t be joining the Irish contingent at Geelong.

It isn’t often that three Irish players ply their trade at the same AFL club, and Tuohy admitted that it was a pity that he wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to play alongside the young Mayo star.

“I was getting fierce excited at having the prospect of an all-Irish half-back line. I don’t think it’s ever happened – three Irish guys who have played in the same team,” Tuohy commented.

“I think myself, Ciarán Sheehan and Ciarán Byrne all played a pre-season game together. I think that was the first time that has ever happened in a pre-season game but it’s never happened in an official game.

“But looking at his highlights and you get a sense of the type of talent he is and he’s exactly the type of player that AFL clubs love. He’s strong, he’s quick, he looks like he’s got really good skills that would adapt very quickly.

“It’s a pity, I would have liked to play with him.”

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