Lally signs AFLW deal

Meath's All-Ireland winning midfielder and 2019 Leinster MFC winning captain Orlagh Lally will become the second player from Eamonn Murray's Royals to join the ranks of the AFLW for the coming season.

Lally has signed for Fremantle Dockers and will join Player of the Year Vikki Wall Down Under.

Lally and Wall will see out the remainder of Meath’s All-Ireland title defence before the Clann na nGael player will join Fremantle as a rookie.

The new AFLW season will start in August and pre-season will kick off this month, but Lally and Wall have been given special dispensation to join up later, after Meath's involvement in the All-Ireland series comes to an end.

The 20-year-old will link up with Leitrim’s Aine Tighe, who is already on the books with Fremantle.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity and a bit of a new adventure as well,” Lally said.

“I’ve heard great stories about Australia and it was really nice to get to know Aine and put a face to the name. She told me how great it is over at Fremantle and in Perth. It added an extra bit of excitement and reassurance as well knowing that you have someone from home over there as well.”

Fremantle senior coach Trent Cooper believes Lally has the ability to play across multiple positions in the AFLW.

“We’re really excited to get Orlagh on board, when word came that she was interested in pursuing an AFLW career, we jumped on that straight away,” Cooper said.

“She’s very young to be making the move at 20 years of age but she’s got a good head on her shoulders and is looking forward to the challenge of coming across.

"She looks like the type of player that will adapt to the physical nature of the game. The contact isn’t as strong in Gaelic as in AFLW but most of the Irish girls adapt really well and she looks like one that will actually relish the physical contact in the game.

“Orlagh is capable across all three lines. She’s reasonably tall at 172cm, not key position tall, but a really powerful runner with good evasive skills and kicks the ball well on both feet.

“Orlagh’s already done some AFLW training and she kicks the ball better than any Irish player I’ve seen at that stage.

“She went for a kick with Aine a couple of days ago and Aine reported back she kicks it way better then she did at that stage.

“If she can become half a good as kick as Aine we’ll be happy! She has those basic fundamentals and at 20, she’ll pick up the game even quicker,” high praise indeed from the Fremantle coach.

Lally Meath manager Murray admitted that it was iunevitable that his side were going to lose a few players to the AFLW, but he wished Lally, and Wall, the best of luck.

"Our girls are at the very top of their game, so of course they are going to draw attention from the AFLW. What team wouldn't want players like Orlagh Lally and Vikki Wall? They are supreme athletes and outstanding footballers, I've no doubt they'll adapt to the game down there and be a huge success," said Murray.

"We would never try to stand in the way of any player looking to make that move. It is an amazing opportunity to see a bit of the world, play professional sport and enjoy living your life when you are young.

"Lord knows there is enough hardship in the world, so why wouldn't these girls take this chance if it arises. Best of luck to them and I'm delighted for them.

"Hopefully the two girls will head off with another All-Ireland medal in their pockets, I know that is their sole focus right now. Neither of them are thinking about anything else right now only how they can help Meath and that is all we ask of them," concluded Murray.