Sunday 1 February 2015

Patrick set for NFL stardom – thanks to his Gaelic football roots

Published 25/03/2013 | 05:00

Patrick Murray started out after his father Aidan emigrated from Clones, Co Monaghan, over 20 years ago.
Patrick Murray taking a kick for the Fordham College American football team

A YOUNG Irish American is poised to sign a deal to make him a mega sports star in the US – all thanks to his GAA kicking skills.

Patrick Murray (21) has NFL teams scrambling to secure his signature after discovering an uncanny knack for kicking field goals.

But his skills were honed on the GAA pitch where Patrick started out after his father Aidan emigrated from Clones, Co Monaghan, over 20 years ago.

Patrick is the most successful kicker in the history of his New York-based Fordham College football team. And he's already made the record books, having kicked the longest-ever field goal for his team.

He now stands to make millions of dollars in the coming years when he puts pen to paper and signs as a professional next month.

"Some big teams have already indicated some real interest. The base salary for most rookie players coming out of university is $413,000.

"But the highest-paid NFL player in my position on the field is currently earning around $2m a year," he told the Irish Independent from his home in the Bronx.

"I went to an open day recently and all 32 NFL teams had a representative there to watch me kick. I put on an absolute show for them – it was unbelievable.

"Afterwards I spoke with nearly every team and I've a workout organised with the New York Giants.

"When I sign papers at the end of April there's a signing-on bonus and that ranges from €5,000 to $40,000."

But despite his future career in American sport, he said he "bleeds green white and orange" and credits his success to playing Gaelic football as a kid.

"I got my leg strength from scoring points for my team and that made the transition to American football so much easier.

"I also come from a long line of Gaelic football players. My uncle, Ciaran, captained Monaghan in the 1980s. My other uncle, Ciaran, is the physio for the Irish national soccer team and he gives me advice on how to stay fit.

"I'm the kicker and punter on the team, which means I punt the football like you would in Gaelic – I learnt all I know from playing GAA."

Irish Independent

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