DOB: 3 July 1964
From: Roscommon, Ireland
Number: 56 1984
The first Irish player to appear in the VFL responded to a newspaper advertisement from Melbourne, but thought his chances of being signed to play in the foreign code were finished when he was unable to attend a training session. Later that year the Demons tracked down the teenager from County Roscommon and gave him a personal tryout. He impressed and was signed to a two year contract.
Earley didn't move to Australia until early 1983, after being delayed at home with the illness and subsequent death of his father. He overcome a groin injury from excessive kicking practice early in the season to play out the year in the Under 19s before graduating to the Reserves the next season, where he played most of the year before receiving a call-up in the last round of the season.
Earley kicked a goal amongst nine touches while playing on a wing during his debut, but was less successful when moved into defence. He returned home before the reserves finals series to rejoin Roscommon and play alongside his elder brother Dermot, a Gaelic Football legend, who was approaching the end of his career.
He later managed the Allenwood and Celbridge clubs and worked as a TV commentator. Returning to Australia in the early 2000's, Earley agreed to help the Sydney Swans scout Irish players and was instrumental in the Swans signing future premiership player Tadgh Kennelly.
May have played Under 19s immediately after arriving from Ireland.