McLaughlin open to second season in Oz

By Michael McMullan

DONEGAL captain Niamh McLaughlin’s second season in Australia is still on the table but her campaign at home remains the main focus.

The 2022 Ladies Football Player of the Year scored four goals in her 11 appearances for AFLW side Gold Coast Suns in a whirlwind debut season.

“I have another year there if I want it,” McLaughlin told Gaelic Life of her two-year deal.

“I haven’t looked too far into it. If I am all good I do plan on going back out again whenever we (Donegal) are finished up.”

Their recent defeat to Tyrone ended Donegal’s hopes of an immediate return to Division One and John McNulty’s side are targeting a victory against Cavan this weekend to quell any relegation fears.

Donegal will then set out to defend their Ulster title against an in-form Armagh before embarking to the All-Ireland Championship campaign.

McLaughlin enjoyed her season with the Suns and felt her style of play on the fields of Ireland helped her settle into the AFLW game.

“I probably caught a lot of the other teams off guard because I don’t even think my teammates knew what I was going to do next,” she joked.

“I really enjoyed challenging myself, I really enjoyed the game. Once you really enjoy the game and understand it, then that is massive.

“I was relatively thrown in at the deep end, so you either sink or you swim. Fortunately I was able to go with it. I have a lot to learn and I definitely made a lot of mistakes along the way.”

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