Daniel Flynn returns to Kildare after taking leave of absence from the AFL 7 years ago

Daniel Flynn returns to Kildare after taking leave of absence from the AFL

Kildare native Daniel Flynn has returned home having taken a leave of absence from Port Adelaide, who have admitted that there is a chance that he won’t return to the AFL.

The 20-year old headed Down Under in November having joined Port Adelaide as a rookie and had been reported to be making good progress in the early stages following his arrival as he looked to follow in the footsteps of a number of Irish players who have made an impact in Australian Rules.

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Flynn, however, has returned home to Kildare for an indefinite period of time with Port Adelaide issuing a statement saying that he wished to be with his family while his grandfather battles a serious illness and also admitting that he has had issues with homesickness since making what was a hugely significant move to the other side of the world.

In a statement on the Port Adelaide website, General Manager of Football, Peter Rohde said: “We wish Daniel and his family all the best in this difficult time.

“While Daniel has fitted in well and has made good progress with his football he has also struggled with home sickness.

“The club will continue to work with Daniel to help him make the transition to playing football so far from home.”

In a separate report in The Herald Sun newspaper, meanwhile, Rohde admitted that “there’s a chance he won’t be back” and said that Flynn would maintain his fitness while at home by playing Gaelic Football.

“We’ll keep working with Daniel, he’s made a two-year commitment to us and he's on a long path but clearly it got to the stage where he was finding it very difficult to stay here,” Rohde said.

“He’s gone home for an extended period and we hope to get him back sometime during the season.

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“There’s no hiding the fact he’s battled homesickness all the way through (since he arrived), he’s been home to visit his grandfather a couple of weeks ago and came back again but now feels the need to get back home.

“He won’t be around for the immediate future and we’ll monitor what happens from there.

“He’s enjoyed his footy and the environment around the club but he just finds that when he’s not here at training he’s missing home too much.”

Obviously it is too early to tell what impact this will have on Flynn’s potential AFL career but it could see him rejoin the Kildare football panel in the near future in what would be a major boost to Jason Ryan’s side for the season ahead.