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The next Pearce Hanley? Gold Coast signs quick, athletic Irishman

Irish flyer: Luke Towey testing in an AFL Combine. Picture: @LukeTowey - AFL,Gold Coast Suns,Contracts,Trade
Irish flyer: Luke Towey testing in an AFL Combine. Picture: @LukeTowey

GOLD Coast has signed an Irish prospect it hopes can be the next Pearce Hanley.

Luke Towey has officially joined the Suns as a Category B Rookie, as flagged by AFL.com.au in September following his trial with the club in August.

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The 20-year-old will move to Australia later this month, having lapped up his experience earlier this year at the Suns and, before that, having spent time at Victorian-based clubs in April.

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He is set to be trained as a dashing half-back, with the Suns keen to add a young Irishman to their list while Hanley, one of the Irish success stories, is still at the club in the latter years of his career.

Towey's athleticism was part of his appeal, with the 186cm prospect extremely quick. He has run a 2.82 second 20-metre sprint and he has also completed the agility test in 7.93 seconds, which is better than any player at last week's NAB AFL Draft Combine.

Below: Luke Towey (centre) with other Irish prospects and Essendon's Conor McKenna

The Gaelic footballer from Sligo in the west coast of Ireland had been considered one of his country's rising stars in its sport before deciding to make the move follow his interest in AFL.

LUKE OF THE IRISH Suns trial young Gaelic gun

He will start pre-season with the rest of the Suns at the beginning of November.

Ireland continues to be a breeding ground for the Australian game, with another two hopefuls – Cian McBride and Oisin Gallen – completing last week's Combine.

Run and gun: Irish defender Pearce Hanley in action for the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos