Contributed by: Aaron Richard
LEFT: Flynn with Port coach Ken Hinkley.
19-year-old Irishman Daniel Flynn has been signed on for two years as an international rookie by AFL club Port Adelaide, after meeting with club management at Alberton Oval on Monday ahead of this week's AFL draft screening.
Flynn was identified by his former countryman Tadhg Kennelly, during the AFL talent screening session of 24 prospects in Ireland in March this year. He is seen as a potential running half-back or midfielder, after he impressed with his speed and agility, achieving 2.83 seconds in the 20 m sprint.
A native of Johnstownbridge in County Kildare, Flynn has been a promising junior Gaelic footballer for the Lilywhites, as Kildare's GAA side are known.
His signing follows hot on the heels of Jason Holmes from the USA, who was signed by St Kilda as an international rookie this week.
Port Adelaide's official press release follows.
The Port Adelaide Football Club has signed its first international rookie with Irish-born Daniel Flynn agreeing to join the Power until the end of 2015.
The 20-year-old from Kildare in Ireland spent time at the club’s Alberton headquarters earlier this week prior to joining fellow draft hopefuls at the annual NAB AFL Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium.
Flynn has a background as an elite underage Gaelic footballer and will be mentored by countryman and former Sydney Swans champion Tadhg Kennelly during his time with the Power.
The club has made a two-year commitment to Flynn with plans to develop him into a small to medium defender.
Flynn says he enjoyed his time at Port Adelaide during the week and elected to join the Power over offers from other rival clubs.
“I really liked my time when I was over there, it’s a relaxed city and the atmosphere around the club was great - I can’t wait to make the journey over,” says Flynn.
“I’ve been following the game a bit back home and know of a few trailblazers like Tadhg, Jim Stynes and Caolan Mooney who has been a rookie with Collingwood for a couple of years.
“The skills are similar to Gaelic – we kick, handball and mark as well, the tackling is a bit different, but I’ll learn that as time goes on.
“I’ll probably spend the first 12 months developing my Aussie Rules skills in the SANFL and hopefully be groomed into an AFL footballer from there.”
Port Adelaide’s general manager - football Peter Rohde said the new frontier of international recruiting is an area the club is keen to embrace.
“This is a new era for Port Adelaide and we see Daniel’s signing as part of our evolution into globally-oriented sports organisation,” said Rohde.
“We’re constantly looking at breaking into new talent areas and we’ve liked what we’ve seen with Daniel so far.
“We’ve got realistic expectations though and will work with him for the first year to develop his skills at SANFL level.”
For more, see Irishman's Exploding Footy, Lilywhites star Flynn set for AFL switch, In like Flynn: Irishman joins Port and Port Adelaide signs Irish teenager Daniel Flynn.
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