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02nd Apr 2024

Rory Beggan and Mark Jackson return home and may feature in Championship this weekend

Niall McIntyre

Rory Beggan and Mark Jackson have both returned from America and may feature for their counties in the championship as soon as this weekend.

Along with fellow GAA player Charlie Smyth, who has been signed by the New Orleans Saints, Beggan and Jackson spent the last month trialling in America, with the hope of securing an NFL kicking contract through the International player pathway.

As of yet, neither Beggan nor Jackson have been snapped up and so they have both decided to return home.

It doesn’t signify the end of their NFL dreams, however, with the prospect still alive that the players could be signed by any NFL franchise over the next couple of months ahead of the new season.

Beggan and Jackson had both initially planned to come home in early March but extended their Stateside stay, taking part in the University of South Florida Pro day last week, after which Down man Smyth was offered his contract.

It was reported by the Irish news on Monday night that Beggan (31) took part in a training camp with the Monaghan footballers over the weekend, which would indicate he may have a part to play in their championship clash with Cavan in Clones this weekend.

The game throws in on Sunday at 4.00.

Jackson could also be in action, with Oisin McConville’s Wicklow footballers taking on Division Three Champions Westmeath in O’Moore Park in Laois, this Sunday in the preliminary round of the Leinster football championship.

Both Wicklow and Monaghan would appear to have missed their respective goalkeepers, with both counties having been relegated in their absence, Wicklow down to Division Four and Monaghan down to Division Two.

Both Beggan and Jackson impressed at various stages throughout their US sojourn, with the Monaghan man hitting a perfect ten from ten kicks in the pro day in Tampa last week. Jackson (25) also hit the headlines having beaten Justin Tucker’s record by kicking a mammoth 70 yard field goal.

Speaking after Monaghan’s win over Dublin in the early stages of the Allianz National Football League, manager Vinny Corey indicated that Beggan would be welcomed back to the fold with open arms.

“Listen, he’s his own man. They’re all over 18, they can make their own decisions in life,” he told TG4.

“What we (Monaghan) do is valuable as well and he loves his club Scotstown, and he loves playing for Monaghan as well so it’s not a foregone conclusion, he’s going to go and explore it but as I said, hopefully he’ll come to his senses at the end of it.”

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