Rachel Kearns in action for Mayo against Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Rachel Kearns is the latest Mayo player to sign terms with an AFLW club

Mayo's Rachel Kearns is the latest Irish footballer to opt for a stint Down Under playing in the AFL Women's competition.

The Crossmolina woman, who is also playing soccer with Galway WFC in the Women's National League this year, becomes Geelong's first Irish AFLW player after signing terms for one season with the Cats.

Geelong’s Head of AFLW, Brett Johnson, commented: “Rachel is an experienced athlete; her list of achievements speak for themselves. She is well suited to the physicality of AFLW and we see her making a strong contribution.”

As well as her elite status in Gaelic football and soccer, Kearns (24) has two All-Ireland boxing medals.

After having played for Castlebar Celtic previously in the Women's National League, she returned to top level soccer with with Galway WFC this year and made an immediate impact, winning the player of the month award for April. She has represented her country at Under 19 level and was included in a Republic of Ireland home-based training session at the FAI headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin, last month.

In Gaelic football, Rachel won an LGFA All-Star Award in 2019 at full-forward, though she has played in defence for Mayo as well. She plays club football with MacHale Rovers.

Kearns follows in the footsteps of a number of current or former Mayo players who have made the trip to Australia, including Cora Staunton (GWS), Aileen Gilroy (North Melbourne), Sarah Rowe (Collingwood) and sisters Niamh and Grace Kelly (West Coast).