Martin Clarke holds talks over Aussie Rules return

Martin Clarke playing for Collingwood
Martin Clarke was a big hit with AFL club Collingwood

Down forward Martin Clarke is poised to return to Aussie Rules football later this year.

The 23-year-old headed to Australia on Monday and he is expected to hold talks with his former AFL club Collingwood.

Clarke, from Cranfield near Kilkeel, joined Collingwood in 2006 but three years later turned down a lucrative contract and resumed his GAA career.

It is believed Clarke will continue playing for Down before departing for Aussie Rules pre-season in November.

Clarke will hold talks with Collingwood officials although it is by no means certain that he will agree to rejoin his former club.

His former manager at Collingwood Mick Malthouse may be stepping down from the position and Clarke could exercise the option of talking to other AFL clubs as well.

He is understood to be negotiating a contract for the 2012 and 2013 AFL seasons.

Collingwood from Melbourne are the current Premiership champions are and reputed to be the best supported club in Australian sport.

Clarke made a big impression as a talented midfielder during his spell there and Collingwood officials have made no secret that they are keen to get him back.

Last year, Clarke helped Down reach the All-Ireland football final and he won an end-of-season All Star award.

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