West Coast Eagles Irish import Paddy Brophy has called time on his bid to become the club’s first international rookie to play senior football.

Brophy, in his third year at the club, has decided to return to his home country where he will resume his Gaelic football career, with the aim of playing for County Kildare.

The popular Irishman has been a valued part of the club’s squad and has performed strongly at WAFL level, without getting an opportunity at the elite level. He has played primarily off half-back with East Perth and has captivated staunch Royals fans with his dash and dare.

“It’s disappointing that Paddy has decided to go back to Ireland, but he has been a valuable member of the playing squad,” general manager of football Craig Vozzo said today.

“Paddy came to the club as our first international category B rookie and did very well to adjust to our game and the oval ball. He has always enthusiastically embraced the challenge of tackling a foreign game, but could not quite reach the level to play elite football.

“He did play regular senior football at East Perth and always gave himself the best chance of success. We thank Paddy for his contribution over the last three years and wish him every success with the next phase of his life.

“It is difficult relocating to another country, adjusting to the lifestyle here as well as the game itself, but Paddy totally committed to everything required.”

Brophy has played his last game for East Perth, opting to sit out last weekend as he contemplated his future before informing the playing group of his decision to return to Ireland yesterday.

“It’s disappointing it’s over, but it’s time,” Brophy said.

“I am going home for personal reasons, including homesickness, but I have really enjoyed my time at the club.

“I will always be grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity. It has been a great experience, but I’ll go back home, continue my university studies and play Gaelic football.

“I’d like to thank everyone at both West Coast and East Perth for their support. I have made some life-long friends and have really enjoyed the experience.”