When Ciaran Sheehan chests the Blues’ banner for the first time on Saturday there will be a very special face in the crowd watching him run out.
After learning just yesterday that her son would be making his AFL debut, Sheehan’s mum Liz has jumped on a plane and is making the journey to Melbourne – all the way from County Cork in Ireland.
Liz will join Carlton supporters at Etihad Stadium to watch the Blues take on the Gold Coast, and see her son become Carlton’s 1154th player.
For Sheehan’s fans, friends and supporters in Ireland who can’t make the trip across the globe, Carlton will be providing a special Twitter feed to follow his game on Saturday. To receive the updates follow @CFC_Community.
Meanwhile we caught up with the 23-year-old Irishman, who is clearly still over the moon after being upgraded from Carlton’s rookie list.
When did you find out that you would be playing?
On Wednesday morning Mick asked if he could speak to me for a minute, so I went down his office and we had a quick chat before he mentioned anything about the game. Then eventually he just said: “Well, you’re getting an opportunity this week.” I was overwhelmed but really excited.
Were you concerned you may have been in trouble when you were called to Mick’s office?
I think most of the boys are! Actually Mick has been really good to me this year. I’ve been up and had a chat to him a few times about home and how I’m getting on up here. I always look forward to a good chat with Mick – and I was lucky this was a really good one!
You’ve played 14 games in the VFL, do you think you have a thorough understanding of how Aussie rules works now?
I hope so! Luke Webster, Mathew Capuano and Michael Osborne have been really helpful toward helping me understand the structures. They’ve done everything in their power to try to get me a game as well so I owe a lot to them, and all the players as well, especially all the first year players who have been training really hard.
What’s been the reaction from back home in Ireland?
I called my Mum and she was a bit shocked too, but very excited as well. I think she was just delighted for me personally and she can’t wait to get over and get a look at the game. It’s exciting times.
You’ve played up forward and down back in the VFL, do you have a preference on where you will line up on Saturday?
I’m not to fussed – I will go wherever I am put so long as I am playing games! It’s just a great opportunity to see where I’m at, so I will go out and do my best and see what happens.