It’s not every day that you see a current Australian rules footballer line out in the Tipperary Junior Hurling Championship.
Colin O’Riordan, who plays professional football with Sydney Swans, returned to his native town, Templemore, recently and the former Tipperary footballer didn’t hesitate to take another venture into the grassroots of the GAA.
Although O’Riordan is now challenging himself down under, back in 2014 he was called up to the Tipperary senior hurling team by Eamonn O’Shea, meaning his return home would have been a welcome boost to the Killea club.
On Saturday evening, Killea were playing Thurles Sarsfields in the Mid-Tipperary Junior Hurling Championship final, however, unfortunately for Killea, the presence of the current AFL star simply wasn’t enough as they suffered defeat by the minimum score.
Colin O'Riordan back home at end of AFL season and played today for Killea in the Mid Tipp Junior B Hurling final #loveit
— Shane Brophy (@BrophShane) September 23, 2017
Mid Tipp Junior B Hurling Championship Final FT
Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Killea 2-14
— Mid Tipperary GAA (@MidTipp) September 23, 2017
O’Riordan moved to the Australian Football League in 2015, but after being dealt a number of injuries in his debut year, the task of breaking into the senior set-up increased in difficulty.
Two such injuries the young Tipperary man suffered were a broken back-bone and a punctured lung in one game in Darwin last year, but after vigorous rehab he made a full recovery and celebrated his senior debut for the Swans during a pre-season friendly against North Melbourne in February of this year.
Aged just 21, O’Riordan continues to make progress down under with the Sydney Swans reserves in the NEAFL and will be hoping that 2018 will be his breakthrough year in the AFL.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena