The GAA has confirmed Paul Earley as the new Irish International Rules manager.
The Roscommon native succeeds Anthony Tohill who led Ireland to success down under in 2011. He takes on a role previously filled by the late Kevin Heffernan, Eugene McGee, Colm O’Rourke, Brian McEniff, John O’Keeffe, Pete McGrath and Seán Boylan.
The Michael Glavey’s clubman, who played in the series under Eugene McGee in 1987, went to Australia in 1983 and played in the then VFL before returning home in 1985.
He played for Roscommon between the years of 1981 and 1993 and is a current member of the GAA’s Football Review Committee.
An experienced Level II coach, Earley is also a highly regarded football analyst with Setanta.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill said the Association was delighted with Paul’s appointment and wished him every success in his new role.
He said: “I am delighted that someone of the standing and calibre of Paul Earley will lead the Irish challenge in the next series against Australia here in Ireland next Autumn.
“Not only is Paul hugely enthusiastic about the initiative and the opportunity that it affords Gaelic footballers, he has first hand experience of both the International Rules game and Aussie Rules itself having played with the Melbourne Demons.
“I wish him every success in the months ahead as he prepares to finalise a backroom team before assembling a squad that will attempt to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup later in the year.”
The GAA can also confirm that the first series test against Australia on October 19 will take place at an Ulster venue yet to be confirmed with the second scheduled for Croke Park the following week.
The manager’s backroom team will also be confirmed in due course.