McQuillan signs contract with AFL club Essendon

September 19, 2019

Cavan's Darragh Kennedy races for possession with Armagh's Ross McQuillan during the 2016 Ulster MFC quarter-final

by Daragh Ó Conchúir

Armagh talent Ross McQuillan has put pen to paper on a contract to play Aussie rules with AFL side Essendon.

McQuillan will be joining Tyrone native, Conor McKenna with the Melbourne outfit when he begins pre-season training next month.

The 20-year-old, who has been used in the National League by Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney, has signed a two-year deal.

A product of the St Patrick’s club, McQuillan was named in attack on last year’s U20 team of the championship and has been on the radar of a number of AFL clubs.

Interest stepped up when he recorded the quickest time of 2.77 seconds for the 20m sprint at the AFL Europe Combine in Dublin.

General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said McQuillan possessed great potential.

“After extensive sessions with Ross, we believe he has what it takes to become a successful AFL player given his lateral movement, skills on both sides of his body and kicking ability” Dodoro said.

“Ross ran an outstanding time of 2.77 seconds for his 20 metre sprint, which would make him the quickest player on our list.

“Most importantly, Ross displays the Essendon values through his drive and determination to succeed.

“We look forward to officially welcoming Ross into the club when he arrives in November.”

McQuillan is the third GAA recruit to sign with Essendon, with Longford ace Michael Quinn the trailblazer 10 years ago.

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