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From Portlaoise to the MCG - Tuohy eager to make history

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Portlaoise man Zach Tuohy will have a second opportunity to write his name into history when he steps out on the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.Tuohy is bidding to become only the second Irishman, after Tadhg Kennelly, to win the AFL Grand Final as his Geelong side chase their first title since 2011 when they take on the Sydney Swans, having lost at the same stage in 2020.Kerry's Mark O'Connor is on the Geelong emergency list and may make an appearance as an injury substitute.It's been some journey for Tuohy who, by a quirk of fate, will also play his 250th game in the AFL on Saturday, closing in further on the great Jim Stynes (264).The former Portlaoise footballer initially made the move Down Under in 2009 for a four-week trial with Carlton.

Tuohy duly impressed and after a spell with their development club Northern Bullants, he was called up to the seniors.Five successful seasons with Carlton followed as Tuohy made his mark on the AFL as a tough and heavy-hitting defender with a unerringly accurate kick, but that came to an end in 2016 when a poor contract offer that belied his status and his ability as a player, was put in front of him by the club."It was sub-par, very sub-par," Tuohy explained. "Almost insulting.

It made it virtually impossible (to stay). Perhaps I was a victim of circumstance."The club’s going in a certain direction and that’s been very clearly documented.

I was very happy there, but it was made clear to me that I might need to look at my options."In terms of player movement, the AFL exists in a middle-ground between GAA and soccer.

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