BENDIGO Thunder premiership players Angela Foley and Bree Martin have given their football skills an Irish makeover and are about to take the field in the Asian Gaelic Games.
They are the only Australians in a Darwin- based female Gaelic football team heading to Kuala Lumpur next week to play in the annual sporting festival.
The pair moved to the Northern Territory in January after being part of Thunder's 2012 grand final winning side, with Foley working as a PE teacher and Martin as a dental nurse.
They were introduced to Gaelic footy by one of Foley's colleagues, who is part of a large contingent of Irish ex-pats in Darwin.
"We had never played the game before," Foley said. "But it is very similar to AFL with a mixture of soccer, and we both played soccer for Strathdale, so it was easy to pick up."
Foley plays in the midfield for the Darwin Shamrocks and Martin, who is making her sporting comeback from a knee reconstruction, is the goal keeper.
The Shamrocks have been training twice a week for the past three months to prepare for the games, which features teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Dubai, Malaysia, Japan and China.
It is the first time an Australian side has been invited to take part and the club is also sending a male Gaelic football squad as well as a male hurling team.
Martin said she was looking forward to the October 11-13 carnival.
"There's a lot of Irish people in Darwin, so it will be good as a team to see how we compare to the other countries and it will be a great experience," she said.
She added the main challenge in switching codes had been that tackling and shepherding were not allowed in Gaelic footy.
The pair will also play AFL for the Waratah Football Club over the wet season, which kicks off Sunday week.
"The Waratahs won the premiership last season and are going for three in a row," Martin said.
"They're the equivalent of Thunder back home."