Former Tipperary footballer Colin O’Riordan looks set to make his debut for the Sydney Swans this weekend in what will be his first competitive game of AFL at the highest level.
O’Riordan is a former minor All-Ireland champion with Tipperary. As a 16-year-old he won the All-Ireland minor championship in 2011. A year later, he did the same with the hurlers.
He made his senior football debut for the Premier County in 2014 and got to the U21 All-Ireland final in 2015 where they lost out to Tyrone.
The 22-year-old signed for the Swans after earning an international rookie contract in the 2015 AFL draft combine at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, the same venue where he will make his debut this weekend when he faces off against North Melbourne in Round 17 of the season.
“To start the journey three years ago and now to be able to run out for my debut is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I came here,” O’Riordan told the club’s official website.
“That’s what I’ve come to Australia to do and I’m just absolutely stoked. I have a huge sense of pride and it just feels like all the hard work has paid off.
“I didn’t really know what to expect walking into the team meeting on Tuesday morning. It was all a bit surreal and I wasn’t expecting to be told I’d be making my debut one little bit. Then when you walk in and the coaches are there and all the players are there it’s a really special moment.
“I reflected on my journey a bit when I was told and to come from where I came from and to get the chance to make my debut is surreal.”