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Members of the Leeside Lions Cork Aussie Rules Club at their fundraiser at Curraheen Park in 2018. Picture: Mike English
Members of the Leeside Lions Cork Aussie Rules Club at their fundraiser at Curraheen Park in 2018. Picture: Mike English
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Cork Aussie Rules players have fun to keep team bond going in lockdown

THREE Cork AFL club players and officials embarked in some light entertainment recently as they distributed an Aussie Rules football via modern technology among the squad depicting various poses in picturesque locations throughout the county.

The video which was released across their social media platforms proved a huge hit with followers as it provided some much needed humour and light relief during the Covid-19. Leeside Lions club president Ian O’Sullivan was delighted with the impact their video made. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOGBihqEDTU

"We had great craic making the video. We sent out a list of shots to the players groups for all three AFL clubs and they posted back their videos. 

"With training cancelled we thought doing something like this would keep the team bond going through the current crisis. We thought a bit of humour would be welcome. It was great to get younger and former players involved as well as some of the kids."

Leeside Lions training in 2014. Picture: David Keane.
Leeside Lions training in 2014. Picture: David Keane.

The Leeside Lions play in the AFL Ireland Premiership, with teams from Galway, Down, Dublin, Belfast and North Munster making up the national league. Their playing season was scheduled to begin last weekend, but it has been postponed indefinitely. AFL is growing in popularity in Cork with playing numbers very encouraging at present. 

“Over the past few years AFL has really taken off here in Ireland and especially in Cork. There are five AFL clubs in Cork. There are three men’s teams Leeside Lions, UCC Bombers and CIT Saints along with two women’s teams, Cork Vikings and UCC Crusaders. 

"All these teams are competitive at national level. With more people emigrating to Australia and some players opting for a professional contract in AFL, it’s a great opportunity to learn the basics before going over. The game itself is great.

"It is like a mix of Gaelic football and rugby, with a bit of basketball and soccer thrown in. We’ve had players from all sorts of sporting backgrounds join our teams. We have social players and ambitious players with aims of making national teams and possibly playing abroad.” 

The Leeside Lions are due to celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They have established themselves as the most successful club in the history of AFL in Ireland. 

“From humble beginnings with only three clubs nationwide, numbers have swelled and clubs have popped up all over. We’re the most successful club in AFL Ireland’s history with six Premiership titles. 

"Our most recent title win was in 2017. We’re playing the waiting game at present. The dream scenario would be to win the AFL Ireland Grand Final this year. It would be a great way to round off our 20 year celebrations.”