Armagh prodigy returns home after calling time on AFL career 2 months ago

Armagh prodigy returns home after calling time on AFL career

Armagh are waiting with open arms.

After two years Down Under, Cullyhanna man Ross McQuillan is coming back to the Orchard County having called time on his AFL career.

McQuillan, who made his Armagh senior debut in the 2018 Championship season, headed for Australia in 2019 having impressed various AFL scouts and teams. The St Patrick's club man's athleticism and pace stood out at the AFL combines with his rapid 20m sprint time of 2.77 seconds convincing the Essendon Bombers to offer him an international rookie deal.

In Essendon, he joined up with fellow Ulsterman Conor McKenna but his stint in his Australia was short lived - McQuillan didn't make a senior appearance in an inevitably unusual and stop start 2020 season - and he follows McKenna and Conor Glass back home to play GAA.

29 May 2016; Ross McQuillan of Armagh in the Electric Ireland Ulster GAA Football Minor Championship quarter-final between Cavan and Armagh in Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
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In Armagh, they will be excited to hear of McQuillan's return with his potential and ability clear for all to see during an impressive underage career. Indeed, the son of former Armagh player and selector Martin is somewhat of a sporting all-rounder, having represented Northern Ireland at basketball.

“Clearly the 2020 season was unlike any other, and without a second tier competition, opportunity for game exposure was limited. Not only was it was a difficult year for Ross to learn the game and hone his craft, geographically being so far away from home added to the trying nature of the year," said Essendon boss Josh Mahoney of McQuillan's decision to move back home.

McQuillan is expected to link up with Kieran McGeeneys's Armagh panel for their 2021 League campaign.