The Hawks’ match committee has called upon a ‘lucky charm’ ahead of Saturday’s clash against the Cats, with Irishman Conor Nash named to make his debut.
Nash joined the Hawks in late 2016 as a Category B rookie, having turned down a Gaelic football academy contract to pursue the foreign sport of AFL on the other side of the world.
A promising athlete in his youth, Nash split his time playing Gaelic football and rugby. He represented Ireland in the U18 rugby side, and was touted as a star in the making due to his pace and stature.
He has since transferred these traits to the game of Aussie Rules, enjoying a breakout season with the Box Hill Hawks while averaging 13 disposals, four marks and just under a goal a game.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” Nash said, after hearing the news that he’d be making his AFL debut against the Cats this weekend.
“When I found out yesterday in front of the family in the car, it was just pure joy.
“I can’t wait, and I look forward to contributing to the team.”
The 20-year-old and his family hail from Navan County Meath, about an hour northwest of Dublin. Nash’s parents and young brother and sister were enjoying a holiday in Australia and were preparing to return to Ireland before receiving the news.
“Clarko asked them if they could prolong their flights until Sunday or Monday,” Nash said.
“They’ll get to see me play which is a very special moment for them, and for myself as well.”
The 197cm utility has shown an aptitude for several different positions on the ground, and says he’ll bring the pressure in whatever role he is given.
“I’ll be creating chaos, [creating] pressure as well, and using my speed and athleticism.
“I’m sure I’ll be spent after the game.”