“I knew a huge amount about Jim before I came over but it’s amazing actually being here and seeing the impact that he made first-hand.”
So then to be contacted by Brian, who lives in Melbourne these days, was special.
“He gave us a call and said ‘we’d love to have you over for dinner’. We hadn’t been around Irish people for a long time and it was lovely to kind of explain to him our experience to date and how we were getting on at training,” McEvoy said. “He’s been really good to us.”
Brian presented Goldrick with her Demons jumper ahead of round one, and might have done the same for McEvoy had she not missed the season opener through illness.
The pair have already made their presence felt in Australia, helping the Dees to a 4-1 start to the season ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Carlton in Alice Springs.
The highlight came when the pair combined for a goal in last weekend’s thumping win over West Coast.
“Myself and Sinead have played together for a long, long time. So I knew exactly what she wanted to do. I knew if I peeled off I’d get the ball over the top.”
The speedy Goldrick had a moment to forget in round two when her side conceded a goal after she failed to give the ball back to a Western Bulldogs opponent, leading to a 50-metre penalty.
But the moment hasn’t held her back.
“I was really disappointed because the coaches had gone through the rules with us, so I knew them,” Goldrick said.
“I know it was a bad thing to happen, but when you make mistakes and the team gets around you you feel kind [of OK] about it.
“And there’s a few Australians who make mistakes!”
It is a significant week for the Dees’ Irish recruits. Next Friday is the eighth anniversary of Jim’s death, while Tuesday is St Patrick’s Day. McEvoy and Goldrick are planning to have some of their Dees teammates over to their house in Richmond where they will watch some hurling.
“We’ll take out the Irish tea bags, buy some Irish treats in the international section of Coles and watch some of the national games, and maybe you’ll understand why we play on every time off the mark,” McEvoy said.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter