McBride- Key Position Irishman!

McBride to be … a Bomber: Essendon to sign 197cm, strong-marking Irishman

Marc McGowan

Cian McBride completes the sprint test during the NAB AFL Draft Combine at Margaret Court

ESSENDON has won a commitment from a second Irishman, with key-position prospect Cian McBride set to be a Bomber in 2020.

McBride was a strong performer at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, where countryman Oisin Gallen also tested.

Cian McBride during the 2km time trial. Picture: AFL Photos

The budding defender is 197cm and 90kg, a strong mark, ran sub-three seconds for the 20m sprint and placed in the top five in the running vertical jump (87cm).

He hails from the same Gaelic football club, Meath, as Hawthorn’s Conor Nash.

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Richmond, Carlton and Melbourne also showed some interest in McBride.

Gallen’s best result was in the agility test, where his 8.2-second effort ranked fifth at the combine.

Oisin Gallen in action during the Draft Combine. Picture: AFL Photos

Essendon announced in mid-September – after many months of wooing him – that it had signed speedster Ross McQuillan, who was the standout at last year’s AFL Europe Combine.

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Both McBride and McQuillan will receive two-year deals, but the Bombers can select only one of them as a Category B rookie, with the other needing to have Category A status.

Category A rookies are eligible to play senior football immediately but Category B players must be promoted to do so.

McBride and McQuillan will hope to replicate new teammate and fellow Irishman Conor McKenna, who’s become one of the Bombers’ best players.

Gold Coast also officially signed Luke Towey this week after he trialled with the Suns in August.

A record 17 Irishmen are set to be on AFL lists next year, with another 18 locked in to play in the AFLW.

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