by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Once a year, an indigenous all-star team takes on one of the AFL teams in an exhibition game. Earlier this year, senior indigenous players from across the AFL approached the League requesting more opportunities to play together as a team. As a result, the AFL has announced that the 2013 team which will play Ireland in the international Series in Ireland will be made up of all indigenous players. AIS-AFL Academy Head Coach and former Sydney Swans games record holder Michael O’Loughlin will coach the side, with the senior coaching panel to be made up of Rodney Eade, Tadhg Kennelly and Andrew McLeod.
According to AFL Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan, it may be the first all-indigenous representative team since the first cricket team toured England in 1868. He believes the team will re-invigorate the international competition.
O'Loughlin and his coaching panel will begin the selection process with the initial squad to be named once players complete their Finals' commitments.
Australia will play Test matches in Cavan and Dublin in October. The last series played in Ireland in 2010 was won by Australia under the coaching of Mick Malthouse. Ireland reversed the result in 2011, defeating Australia 2-0 in Australia.
Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release
Article last changed on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 11:21 PM EDT