AS THE AFL continues to push into the US to recruit players, the poster boy for the campaign has found himself out of a job.
Shae McNamara, the American basketballer who has spent the past three years rookie-listed at Collingwood, was cut by the Magpies yesterday. McNamara is featured in a video recently made by the AFL promoting the league to prospective international recruits, including an interview in which he says he ''plays for the Collingwood Football Club''.
McNamara, 27, from Milwaukee, signed an international rookie contract in 2009 after posting YouTube footage of himself playing football. He played some NAB Cup games for the Pies, but was never elevated to the primary list. He was one of five rookie-listed players cut by Collingwood yesterday. Irishman Paul Cribbin, Daniel Farmer, Lachlan Smith and Trent Stubbs are looking for new clubs. None played a senior game.
''Football, at this level, has to be a way of life and all of the boys committed to that, which we thank them for,'' Collingwood director of football Geoff Walsh said on the club's website. ''We certainly hope they find success with whatever it is they choose to take on next.''
The AFL ran a combine in Los Angeles recently where basketballers were targeted for a switch to Australian football. Two of the 20 to 30 athletes who took part will be invited to the AFL's draft combine after this season.