Fionn O'Hara has become the latest Irish player to join the AFL.
The Westmeath youngster joins Melbourne-based Hawthorn on a two-year deal.
O'Hara has signed as an International Category B rookie.
A talented underage footballer with the Lake County, the 19-year-old has also been involved with Leinster Rugby's underage system.
His decision to move down under comes after an extensive period of monitoring from Hawthorn.
We've had our eye on him for a few years but now exciting Irishman Fionn O'Hara is officially a Hawk! 😎
📝 : https://t.co/r3xQFJaRxf pic.twitter.com/ymDuzLpOTN
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) October 26, 2021
National Recruitment and List Manager Niall McKenzie says they've had their eye on the St Loman's man for a long time.
“We’re rapt to be able to bring Fionn on board after having our eye on him for three years,” McKenzie said.
“Over the course of the time we’ve got to know him, we’ve found him to be a really high-level character with a great work ethic and a real understanding of professionalism having had that experience in those elite pathways."
O'Hara's decision to join Hawthorn represents yet another Irish link for the club.
Meath native Conor Nash is currently on their books, while Dublin star Ciaran Kilkenny also spent time with the Hawks.
McKenzie was quick to praise the new arrival's effort to date - and is excited about what he can achieve during his time there.
“He has worked hard already to hone his AFL skills, so he’s already developed some strong kicking skills coupled with being a good decision maker with ball in hand as well.”
“Fionn actually visited the club in early 2020 and spent some time in Melbourne throughout that period along with his family,” McKenzie said.
“So, he already knows a bit about the city as well as the standards and expectations of being a professional footballer, so that should help him with his transition across to Australia.
“We expect him to enter the program early in the new year.”
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