Sister act: Eagles lock in Irish duo ahead of inaugural season

WEST Coast has signed two Gaelic footballing sisters from Ireland as rookies ahead of its entry to the competition in 2020.

Grace (above, far left) and Niamh Kelly (above, far right) play for County Mayo in the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, the same club as Greater Western Sydney star Cora Staunton and pacy Collingwood midfielder Sarah Rowe.

The Crosscoders program, which last year brought across Irish players Ailish Considine (Adelaide, pictured above, centre), Yvonne Bonner (GWS) and Aisling McCarthy (Western Bulldogs), has been instrumental in organising the signing.

Niamh is 23 and is the captain of Mayo's side, while older sister Grace, 24, is taller and plays predominantly as a forward, in a similar vein to Bonner.

The duo has also played for West Clare Waves in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland Women's competition, along with Adelaide's Considine.

There, they have been used as running forward-midfielders, roles they are expected to replicate at the Eagles.

"Niamh possesses wonderful speed and skill, which I am sure will transfer well into AFLW and add another dimension to our playing squad," West Coast head of female football Adam Selwood told the club website.

"I am really excited at the opportunity of potentially playing Niamh on the wing and allowing her to bring her strengths to the game.

"Grace is a very experienced and composed individual who has made a big impact in Gaelic football over a long period of time.

"Her ability to lead a forward line and bring her unique skill set to each game is going to be a great weapon for us."

Womens.afl understands a further three Irish players have signed with AFLW clubs, with potentially more on the radar.

Crosscoders will hold a camp in Athlone (central Ireland) in mid-May made up of 35 AFLW hopefuls who will undergo tests used in the AFLW Combine.

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