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Irish Blue 'tossing up' a return to the AFL

Ciaran Byrne has played 22 games for the Blues since his debut in 2015 - AFL,Carlton Blues,Ciaran Byrne
Ciaran Byrne has played 22 games for the Blues since his debut in 2015

CARLTON defender Ciaran Byrne has revealed he is still "tossing up" whether he returns to the club this November, or cuts short his AFL career to remain in his native Ireland.

Speculation has circulated that Byrne will not return from his post-season trip home, having made a surprise appearance for his local Gaelic side St Mochta over the past week.

Byrne had asked Carlton for its permission to play in the match, with the Blues giving the running defender their blessing to feature in his first Gaelic game in five years.

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Contracted at Ikon Park through until the end of 2019, the talented 23-year-old says he has been in contact with the Blues regarding whether he sees out his deal with the club.

It follows 22 games in five years with Carlton, including seven this season, following an AFL career halted by a series of setbacks relating to knee and hamstring injuries.

"They want me back and they've been on the phone to me most days since I've come back to Ireland," Byrne told Irish newspaper The Dundalk Democrat.

"I'm still tossing up whether I'm going to go back full-time.

"There are a lot of rumours going around the place, it's all over Twitter. I've another year left on my contract, but I'm going through a process and weighing up my options over whether AFL is still completely for me.

"I've loved my time out there, I've been there for five years, but I've come home at the right time now. The Mochta's are flying, there is talk of the new Louth stadium and Louth have to announce a new manager.

"I'm due to go back in early November for pre-season."