Photo: The Score (Ryan Byrne/Inpho)
As has already been mentioned in the comments, a thoroughly miserable week for the county has just got worse with the news, which was confirmed earlier today, that this year’s minor captain Cian Hanley is set to join big brother Pearse at AFL club Brisbane Lions in Australia. Pearse was an enormous loss to us when he departed for Australia back in 2007, when he was still an U21 but had just broken into the senior team, and his talented younger sibling is someone we could certainly do with back here too. Today’s news confirms that, sadly, this is not to be.
That report in The Score makes it clear that Cian – who is currently recovering from a cruciate injury picked up in the All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry last month – has been courted by the Aussies for some time. Coupled with the way that Pearse has thrived Down Under, it’s no great surprise then that Cian has opted to go down the same path. There’s nothing to be done but to wish the lad well on what’s likely to be an exciting opportunity for him to experience life as a professional sportsman. That and, as was the case when Pearse headed off, to dream some more – in so many ways and at so many bloody levels at this stage – about what might have been.