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Kyle embarks on Aussie Rules fundraising mission

A VICTORIA Bridge man is set to embark on a fundraising mission to enable him to play sport at an international level.

Kyle Devine, who received his first call up for the Ireland squad’s trip to Sweden for the Australian Rules Football’s Euro Cup last summer, is facing yet another bout of globe hopping this year.

With a tournament in Amsterdam in April, another in Scotland in June and with the big one, the Australian Rules World Cup in Brisbane in August, Kyle has to generate an estimated £5,000 to facilitate the travel.

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“That’s one thing about it,” Kyle explained, “is that we have to pay for our travel ourselves. For example, I don’t get any funding at all from council so I have to do what I can to raise money on my own.”

To that end, Kyle has a number of fundraisers in the pipeline, including a bag-packing mission in Asda. Moreover, one of the few men from Tyrone currently playing for Ireland on the Aussie Rules international stage, Kyle is hoping a sponsor might come calling. The local man, who previously came through the Strabane Sigersons ranks as a youngster, moved to Australia in 2011 and it was then he decided to give his new country’s national sport a go.

He joined Northern Territory side, Palmerstown Magpies and proved an easy convert to the oval ball game, scooping the club’s Defender of the Year award in his first season, followed by the Most Improved award the following year.

After returning to Ireland following three years Down Under, Kyle joined the Belfast Redbacks.

“It’s the physical side of the game I like, it’s almost a mix of Gaelic and rugby,” Kyle added.

“I’m throwing everything into this year! As by the next time the cycle comes again I’ll probably be to old for the next world cup.”

• To sponsor Kyle or to help out with his fundraising mission in any way or even to learn more about Aussie Rules, contact the man himself on 07595392439.

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