Clare dual star Ailish Considine has become the first international women's player to sign for the Adelaide Crows in the AFLW, while Donegal full-forward Yvonne Bonner will play in Sydney with the Giants.
Considine secured her contract after taking part in an 18-player CrossCoders trial camp in recent weeks - eleven of the players involved in that camp were Irish, while others were from France, Britain, Fiji, Canada and America.The 26-year-old joins the 23-player squad for the 2019 season and the Kilmihil native admitted that she was shocked to land the contract with the South Australian side.
"I actually can’t even put it into words how I’m feeling,"said Considine.
"The week with CrossCoders has been brilliant. I was not expecting this at all. I thought I was coming out here to Melbourne to have a kick around and see Australia a little bit. I did not expect to be going home with a contract.
"I don’t know a whole lot about Australia or Adelaide, to be honest. But I’m sure I’ll get to know an awful lot about it in the next few months. I cannot wait to get started with the Crows."
"Ailish is a talented athlete who has a tremendous kick on both sides of her body," said Crows General Manager Football Administration Phil Harper.
"She brings a wealth of experience and positive attributes and we feel that she’s a great fit for our squad.
"Having watched her play this week it is clear she already has a good understanding of the basics of the game and we’re confident she’ll successfully transition to AFLW."
Joining Considine in Australia will be Donegal footballer Yvonne Bonner, who has signed a contract with the west Sydney Giants.
Bonner will become the second Irish woman to play for the club, joining Cora Staunton on the roster for 2019.
"For this to actually come true, it’s like a dream, I suppose, to know that I’m the next Irish girl to come out after Cora," she said.
"I play full forward back home for Donegal, so I’ll play quite similar. It’ll just take a while to get used to the different ways of marking and stuff like that."
Staunton returns to the Giants for the 2019 season, having starred there earlier this year, while Sarah Rowe will play for Collingwood next season.