Collingwood Football Club, the most popular professional sports team in Australia, has come to the aid of Galway’s fledgling Aussie Rules Team, the Midwest Magpies.
The Magpies have only been in existence a short while and had not as yet been able to secure a playing kit for their inaugural season in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland, but the famous Melbourne club has stepped in and is providing a set of jerseys used by its first team last year. The club is also sending some footballs to help get the game off the ground in Galway.
Collingwood are best known in Ireland as the home of former Australian International Rules captain Nathan Buckley and also the club of Co Down star Marty Clarke.
The club is closely associated with Irish-Australians, having had many great players, coaches and administrators from the community over its 118 year history. As a result Collingwood is the partner club to the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland.
The Midwest Magpies will have the chance to thank many of the club’s officials personally when they arrive in Ireland later this year for the International Rules series. Australia will be coached by Collingwood’s Mick Malthouse and the club president Eddie Maguire will travel as part of the television coverage.
The Midwest Magpies in the meantime are still looking for new players as they prepare for the season's start on April 24. Those interested in joining can see www.midwestmagpies.com, e-mailing [email protected], or phone Ciaran on 087 - 1502527.