Kildare Gaelic football star Daniel Flynn has spoken about his experience of playing Australian Rules with AFL club Port Adelaide.
The Johnstownbridge player is one of the best players in Leinster and he was chosen to go for AFL trials in 2013 after starring for St. Mary’s, Edenderry in the Hogan Cup secondary schools competition.
Flynn described his experiences in Australia and said he would recommend it to anyone who gets an opportunity.
Daniel Flynn was under contract with AFL club Port Adelaide.
“It started back in 2013. There was a Combine on, it would have been a big year at the time, and there were 30 lads selected,” Flynn said.
“From there we went over to London, seven or eight lads were selected. We played the version of the Australian minor team in an AFL game and think two of us were selected then to go to Melbourne for the draft camp.
“I got selected from there. I talked to Port Adelaide and I got picked up and went over. It was a bit of a mixed bag. I was very young to go over. I really enjoyed it but I found it lonely and a bit isolated over there.
“I came home a couple of times. My grandfather passed away in the April. I was close to him and came back home for a couple of weeks.
“I went back over to finish out the season and then at Christmas, 14 December I think it was, I came home and I didn’t want to go back. I was happy enough at home.
“I really enjoyed it and I’d recommend it to any young man going. I think it’s great. I learned an awful lot about how to look after yourself and stand on your own two feet, a general life experience. It was a really good experience overall.”
Kildare face Offaly on Sunday in the Leinster football championship.
Flynn went home from Australia before his contract expired and does not regret his decision. The 2018 all-star nominee did not make an AFL appearance for Port Adelaide, though he did play for them in pre-season competitions.
“If I wanted to I would have yeah. I had another year to run on my contract. I thought I was doing well over there. But I’ve no regrets. I’m very happy with the decision not to pursue it,” he said.
“It was the equivalent of the VFL, south Australian clubs and their competition. The only AFL I got would have been the likes of a pre-season tournament, the NAB Cup. It was the equivalent of the O’Byrne Cup.”
Daniel Flynn was speaking at AIB’s launch of the 2021 GAA All-Ireland senior football championship.