Bríd Stack, one of the greatest ever footballers to grace the turf for Cork Ladies Football, has signed down-under for the GWS Giants to play in the upcoming 2021 Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) season.
Stack join’s Donegal’s Yvonne Bonner and Mayo’s Cora Staunton in western Sydney as an international rookie. After being tracked by the Giants for nearly three-years, Stack has finally made the move in what is a huge coup for the Australian side.
The towering full-back is unequivocally a football great and a defensive titan. Last year, Stack stepped away from inter-county football after a glittering career.
In 2005, she won her first All-Ireland and then went on to win another 10 alongside the likes of Deirdre O’Reilly, Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley. Stack played single every minute of those 11 successful deciders at Croke Park and has picked up seven All-Star awards during her time in the Cork jersey. In 2007 and 2013, she was named player of the match in the All-Ireland finals.
The Rockchappel native, who was the 2016 Footballer of The Year, will move down to Australia with her family and will join up with her new teammates ahead of pre-season training which begins in November.
The Cork legend has maintained her fitness lining out with St Val’s in club competition and working with Colm O’Shaughnessy of Elite Fitness. She has also been working on her kicking with Mike Currane of AFL Ireland Women’s. Currane himself has worked with several other players who have since made the successful transition to Aussie Rules.
The GWS Giants Coach, Alan McConnell, welcomed the arrival of Stack at an announcement this morning.
"After three years of interest on our part, it’s really exciting to have Bríd Stack finally make the decision to come to Australia and be part of our list," said McConnell.
"Bríd is a key defender with great speed, good agility, is very competitive and has a long history of having high-level success in women’s football in Ireland.
"This is a recruiting model that we've followed with our two other Irish girls and have had great success with Cora and Yvonne in recent years and we hope to get the same outcome with Bríd.
"What an amazing thing for our footy club, that a young woman is willing to not just move herself here to play Aussie Rules but to bring her 12-month old son and her husband, as well, in the current COVID-19 environment.
"It's just an amazingly courageous thing to do. We’re grateful and hopefully, we can make the best of the opportunity for all involved."
Stack becomes the 17th Irish player to sign up for AFLW.
Full List Of Irish Players:
Ailish Considine (Adelaide Crows), Grace Kelly (West Coast Eagles), Niamh Kelly (West Coast Eagles), Aisling McCarthy (West Coast Eagles), Sinead Goldrick (Melbourne Demons), Niamh McEvoy (Melbourne Demons), Lauren Magee (Melbourne Demons), Orla O’Dwyer (Brisbane Lions), Áine Tighe (Fremantle Dockers), Clara Fitzpatrick (St Kilda), Katy Heron (Western Bulldogs), Cora Staunton (Greater Western Sydney Giants), Yvonne Bonner (Greater Western Sydney Giants), Sarah Rowe (Collingwood), Aisling Sheridan (Collingwood), Aileen Gilroy (North Melbourne), Bríd Stack (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
Coach Al McConnell gives the inside word on the three year process of recruiting @BridStackie and how a little local knowledge from @duckie15 went a long way ? ?? ? pic.twitter.com/ZVkvNfI0em
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) October 7, 2020