Monaghan footballer Karl Gallagher signs two-year deal with Adelaide Crows

21-year-old Emyvale player has accepted a Category B rookie contract with the AFL outfit

Monaghan will have to plan without Karl Gallagher for the foreseeable future after the 21-year-old signed a two-year contract with Aussie Rules outfit Adelaide Crows.

Gallagher was an ever-present during the Monaghan’s 2023 championship campaign, featuring in all eight of their fixtures.

The Emyvale player, who spent some time in pre-season training with the club in December, had been on the radar of the AFL outfit for several years and has now accepted a Category B rookie contract with the Crows.

Speaking at his unveiling to the media in Adelaide on Monday, Gallagher said: “It was definitely a tough decision to officially make the move, I went back home over Christmas and had some long chats with my family and friends.


“It’s a big commitment moving across the world, and something I didn’t take lightly. Opportunities like this don’t come around too often, so I was happy to take it with both hands.”

Gallagher scored 1-1 in last year’s championship – netting his goal against Derry – and started seven of Monaghan’s eight outings.

Adelaide have had an interest in signing him since 2019 but his move to Australia was delayed by the Covid pandemic.

“I was invited to the European AFL combine in Dublin, and that is where I first made contact with Hamish [Ogilvie] and the Crows team,” continued Gallagher.

“We had talks and I was supposed to come over for a look at the facility and things in late 2019 and early 2020, but Covid-19 unfortunately put a dent in those plans.

“It had always been in the back of my mind, but in 2022 and 2023, I was keen to break into my senior Gaelic team, so I fully committed to that.

“But once the past season ended, I wanted to give the AFL another crack and was happy to have the Crows still interested in getting me across.”

Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan is to undertake American Football trials over the coming weeks, so the loss of Gallagher is a further blow to manager Vinny Corey as the 2024 season gets up and running.

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Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times