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Former Westmeath Star Set To Make Aussie Rules Debut This Weekend

Former Westmeath footballer Ray Connellan is set to make his AFL debut on Friday evening. 

In the summer of 2016, aged 22 at the time, Connellan, unfortunately, suffered a double-leg break in the Leinster final against Dublin, an injury that could have potentially diminished his plans to play professional football in Australia.

However, having impressed in previous trial games in Ireland, Connellan was offered a two-year Rookie contract with St Kilda, along with former Kilkenny minor captain, Darragh Joyce.

Through sheer grit and determination, Connellan returned to action after just 13 weeks.

In his first year Down Under, Connellan was learning the game’s trade in Sandringham – but after impressing once again, he is now destined to make his Senior debut with St Kilda this Friday.

According to St Kilda’s Official Website, the Irishman is relishing his new position in attack:

“The Irishman switched from half-back to a small forward role at the back end of last season, where his lightning speed and high-pressure game could force his way into Alan Richardson’s plans this year.”

The former Lake County player will make his Senior debut in the AFLX league, an inaugural tournament where Connellan will return to familiar surroundings.

Instead of the oval-shape AFL pitch, the AFLX pitch is rectangular, seven-a-side, and “is a new and exciting game…to attract new fans.”

The tournament will be played over three days, with two pools of six three competing in a round-robin format including a grand final at the end.

With the AFL season fast approaching, Connellan will be hoping that he continues to impress on a higher level with the Saints.

Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena

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Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man as we hear from Jim Gavin, Declan Bonnar and talk Kildare football and Shane Dowling’s wonder-strike:

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.