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AFLW: Irish signings’ need for speed

Ireland to Freo: Our new AFLW recruits! Meet our new AFLW recruits; Aine Tighe and Kate Flood from Ireland!

Fremantle’s fast-paced game style set the AFLW alight in 2019 and the club’s new rookie signings from Ireland are hoping they can help take it to another level in 2020.

Kate Flood and Aine Tighe cut their teeth playing Gaelic football in Ireland, a game known to demand pace and skill from its players.

There were five Irish born-and-bred players on AFLW club lists in 2019, with the likes of Cora Staunton (GWS), Sarah Rowe (Collingwood) and Ailish Considine (Adelaide) all having impressive seasons. 

A power forward, Flood is renowned for her pace in what is already a fast game.

“I’m looking to bring my Gaelic background over and see if we can gel the two together,” Flood said. 

“We play very fast football, there’s no marks, so once you get it you’re going again.” 

Standing at 185cm, Tighe is likely to develop into a ruck role at Fremantle but she also hopes her speed will be a plus in her game.

“I feel my height will hopefully be an advantage but also my athleticism and strong running,” Tighe said. 

“I’d hope that comes from the Gaelic football background, catching, kicking and marking. I want to try to keep that culture that seems to be building (at Freo) and keep driving those standards.”

Tighe said her favourite AFLW player was Kiara Bowers but she’s been following the progress of the other Irish players closely.

“I knew a couple of the Irish girls from college so I’ve been watching them and seeing how they’ve got on,” Tighe said. 

“It’s sparked a bit of interest (in playing AFLW) and I got a couple of messages to explore it and I looked into it in more detail, so (considering going to Australia) has been for the last year or so.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs