Quinn keeping fingers crossed over International Rules hopes

Killoe footballer Michael Quinn was last night (Tuesday) anxiously awaiting news of Ireland’s final 23-man squad annuncement ahead of the side’s Australian tour later this month.

Killoe footballer Michael Quinn was last night (Tuesday) anxiously awaiting news of Ireland’s final 23-man squad annuncement ahead of the side’s Australian tour later this month.

The 21-year-old star, who plies his trade with Australian Football Rules (AFL) outfit, Essendon Bombers, was one of 31 players who has spent the past week with International Rules manager, Anthony Tohill’s provisional 31-strong training panel.

Last night, (Tuesday) the talented midfielder cut a pensive figure as he contemplated the prospect of lining out for Ireland ahead of a potentially mouthwatering double header with Australia in just over two weeks time.

“Hopefully I’ll make the cut,” he said in typically upbeat fashion. “It’s hard to know how it will turn out as there are a lot of good players looking to get picked.”

Having spent the past two and a half years overseas, Quinn has surprised many with a string of impressive performances for Essendon’s Victorian Football League affiliate, Bendigo Bombers.

The former Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) student didn’t take long in winning over his detractors Down Under, taking the mantle of the fastest conversion ever scored by an ex-GAA player off Co Down forward, Martin Clarke.

Lauded for his blistering speed and evasive ball carrying skills, Quinn, by his own admission has endured an indifferent spell of late.

It’s a period the softly spoken Longford native hopes will not scupper his hopes of landing a new and improved contract with the Australian giants in the lead up to the AFL 2012 season.

“It was a tough year alright especially as we (Essendon) had new management that came in. Things haven’t been as good as the year before, but I am enjoying it out there and if I can I want to stay out there.”

His ability to play in a number of different positions has also seen Quinn being labelled with the sometimes understated and at times much maligned ‘utility’ tag.

“I suppose you can call me a bit of a John O’Shea,” he chuckled as he took time out from his hectic training regime at DCU this week.

And while he admitted the prospect of not making the final 23 man squad would come as a blow, Quinn said rubbing shoulders with the likes of All-Ireland winners such as Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) and Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy was nonetheless a “great motivating” factor.