Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has criticised the AFL’s poaching of GAA players following the news of Cathal McShane’s potential move to Australia.
McShane is reportedly close to a move to the AFL with Brisbane Lions said to be leading the chase for the Tyrone forward who won an All Star for his inter-county exploits last season.
Harte however, isn’t overly keen on the idea of McShane moving Down Under and feels that he would be better suited staying with Tyrone.
“He has been wooed by some people in the AFL,” Harte told BBC. “He’s going out there for a few days to experience what that might be like. There’s no final decision made whether he’s going to go or whether he’s going to stay with us.
“I was trying to enlighten him to the fact that lots good things can happen for him staying here. The things he’s going out there, trying to do, are very much more variable.
“By all means, if Cathal McShane wants to go and play Australian Rules football, that’s his prerogative to do so. I wish him the best, if he can do that.
“I would rather he stayed at home, because I think he’d have a far better future for him if he stayed at home within the ranks of the GAA, within Tyrone.”
Harte continued by outlining that he isn’t a fan of former GAA players working as recruiters to bring inter-county stars to the AFL.
“I’ve not been a fan of the engagement we’ve had with the AFL over many, many years now,” he noted.
“That’s the sad thing about it. It used to be in the past, we had unknown Australians trying to woo our players out to their AFL league. Now we have ex-Gaelic players doing it, which really saddens me.
“We’ve got recruits from the AFL within our own ranks in the GAA, and that’s sad.
“It’s an absolute free gamble for them. If our players succeed out there, that’s a cheap gamble. If they don’t, they send them back home to us to see can we continue to play football with them.
“Always the case was, people are allowed go and play professional sport if they so choose to do it, and I never had any objection to that. But I never thought that an organisation should be creating a warm market for another organisation to take our players.”