Wicklow Footballer Among Irish Players On The Brink Of A Pro AFL Contract

Wicklow Football has had more than its fair share of negative stories over the years but in recent times we have had many positives with the performances of the County Minor Footballers and Hurlers helping to give us all some hope for success in the years to come. Among the brilliant crop of young players currently coming through is an 18 year old Avondale man who has shown the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to GAA talent is the very talented Oisin McGraynor from the well known McGraynor clan who is on the verge of something no Wicklow player has done to the best of our knowledge.

This weekend Oisin along with 19 of the best young GAA players from all over Ireland will take part in a final trial where a Professional Rookie Contract with an AFL team down under will be the prize on offer. To be even be selected to attend the trials is a huge honour for any young GAA player but to have successfully navigated all the trials so far and be in with a chance in the final trials is a huge achievement. Oisin’s unquestionable talent and his athletic physique are two huge factors in why he is on the cusp of this great achievement and his performances in the Wicklow Senior Championship this year with Avondale did not go unnoticed by the watchful eye of the AFL Scouts. 

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We had a chat with Oisin ahead of one of the biggest weekends of his playing career and got a feel of what has been happening up to this point as he looks to become a Professional Australian Footie Player:

Can you tell us what it has been like in the trials so far?

The trials have been amazing so far. Getting to train with the best young players across Ireland is unreal because you get to see the standard of the best young players in other counties and get to train at the highest standard. I found it to be so enjoyable because you got to learn how to play the game of Aussie Rules and how to kick the oval shaped ball which was a challenge in itself to get used to. The trials have all been high intensity and have been very skill based and I was definitely put through my paces but found it very enjoyable.

Who are the guys that are in charge of the trials? Has it been Irish based scouts or has there been some Aussie Scouts taking the trials

Mainly Irish scouts and former Aussie players like Marty Clarke taking the trainings. Once or twice Aussie scouts would come in to watch the trainings.

Have they mentioned what type of contracts might be on offer for successful players in the Trial?

Yes, you could get a rookie professional contract out of it
Would you have followed the AFL and have you a favourite team or a few teams you might like to join if you or selected?
Yes I would have followed the AFL growing up but never thought I’d be lucky enough to have the opportunity to give it a go. No I don’t really have a favourite team, I would most definitely keep my options open if the chance arises. 
 Is there an AFL playing position that you are being trialed for or is it just an open audition and they see what position best suits your skillset?
Yes it’s open audition for position.
What would it mean to you personally to be selected for a Rookie Pro Contract, something no Wicklow player has ever achieved to the best of our knowledge?
It would be an absolute honour and a dream of mine to do that and would be a very proud moment for me, my family, my club and for the county
Growing up or even currently would there be any AFL player or players who would have been your favourite?
I would have to look up to a fellow Irish man Zach Tuohy, he’s a great player over there in Australia
Here’s the real Mammy Question! As with any top young athletes with the potential to secure a professional contract, education will be a factor. How will School, College etc be factored in if you are successful?
At the moment I’m not actually too sure how that will factor in. That will definitely be something that will have to be discussed further down the line if the opportunity came about as education is very important aswell.
You mentioned Zach Tuohy as one Irish player who you would look up to. There has been many Irish players who have excelled over the years in the AFL. If you could turn Scout yourself what 3 County Wicklow based players would you choose to attend an AFL trial?
1.) Podge O’Toole from Kiltegan – He has plenty of running in him and height and the sport would suit him well.
2.) Conor McGraynor – He has the size to excel and he also was a very good rugby player in his teenage years so he would easily adapt to the oval ball.
3.) Dean Healy – Strong runner with the ball and physicality would suit him.
If you do get the contract, how soon do you think it will be until Shane Ross will be calling to your door for a celebratory Selfie and would he be welcomed into the McGraynor household?
I wouldn’t be going that far as to call me a celebrity yet hahahaha
Can you give us an idea of the type of drills that make up an AFL trial?
It’s usually just the usual Gaelic drills like 3 man weaves and hand passing possession games but with the oval ball all done at a high intensity
Is there nowhere safe from that 3 Man Weave! Are the trials behind closed doors or can family/friends attend?
Yeah family and friends are able to attend, my Dad has been at every single one of them watching which I’m always grateful for
Have they not asked Séamus to throw on the boots!!?
No they didn’t which absolutely sickened him he would’ve been more than happy to join in
You have been in trials with the best of the best from across country. Can you let everyone know the other players competing for a Pro Rookie Contract?
Jordan Morrisey from Carlow Matthew Ruane from Mayo are two who were at earlier trials but I honestly don’t know who the other lads are who have been asked, I haven’t heard yet.
The International Rules Series will return next year and again in 2020. We all know how much of an impact the likes of Leighton Glynn and Red Pat O Byrne have had for Ireland in this competition. Is that something that is now very much on your radar and how would it feel to follow in those lads footsteps by representing not only your county but your country too?
That has always been a dream of mine I always look forward to watching those games every time they are on and honestly representing my country would be so good and would be easily one of my biggest ambitions.
Here’s some of the stats for Oisin’s shooting since we began keeping track of Wicklow scores. It’s fair to say its impressive:
Name
Oisin McGraynor
Nationality
irl Ireland
Position
Forward
Current Team
Avondale, Wicklow U20’s
Leagues
EirGrid Leinster U-20 Football Championship 2019, Eirgrid Leinster U-20 Group 2, Keating Cup, Senior Football Championship 2019, Senior Football Championship Group 2 2019, Senior Football League Division 1A, U-20 Football Development League 2019 - Liam Connor Cup, West Wicklow Cup, Renault Senior Football Championship Group 2, Senior Football League Division 1A 2019
Seasons
2018, 2019

EirGrid Leinster U-20 Football Championship 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Wicklow U20’s022
Total-022

Eirgrid Leinster U-20 Group 2

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018Wicklow U20’s000
Total-000

Keating Cup

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018Avondale1912
Total-1912

Renault Senior Football Championship Group 2

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018Avondale01010
Total-01010

Senior Football Championship 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Avondale022
Total-022

Senior Football Championship Group 2 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Avondale4618
Total-4618

Senior Football League Division 1A

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018Avondale51631
Total-51631

Senior Football League Division 1A 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Avondale33443
Total-33443

U-20 Football Development League 2019 - Liam Connor Cup

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Wicklow U20’s011
Total-011

West Wicklow Cup

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Avondale000
Total-000

Career Total

SeasonGoalsPointsTotal Pts
201863553
201974566
Total1380119
Name
Jordan Morrissey
Nationality
irl Ireland
Position
Defender
Current Team
Carlow, Eire Og (Carlow)
Leagues
All Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers 2019, Allianz National Football League Division 3 2019, Leinster Senior Club Football Championship, Leinster Senior Football Championship 2019
Seasons
2018, 2019, 2020

All Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Carlow011
Total-011

Allianz National Football League Division 3 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Carlow044
Total-044

Leinster Senior Club Football Championship

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018Eire Og (Carlow)011
2019Eire Og (Carlow)239
Total-2410

Leinster Senior Football Championship 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Carlow000
Total-000

Career Total

SeasonGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2018011
20192814
Total2915
Name
Matthew Ruane
Nationality
irl Ireland
Position
Forward
Current Team
Mayo
Leagues
Allianz National Football League Division 1 2019, All Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers 2019, Connacht Senior Football Championship 2019, FBD Insurance League 2019, All Ireland Senior Football Championship Super 8's Group 1 2019
Seasons
2019

All Ireland Senior Football Championship Super 8's Group 1 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Mayo000
Total-000

All Ireland Senior Football Qualifiers 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Mayo000
Total-000

Allianz National Football League Division 1 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Mayo136
Total-136

Connacht Senior Football Championship 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Mayo033
Total-033

FBD Insurance League 2019

SeasonTeamGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019Mayo000
Total-000

Career Total

SeasonGoalsPointsTotal Pts
2019169
Total169
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