Smyth "absolutely buzzing" after signing three-year deal with Saints

April 02, 2024

Charlie Smyth during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis ©INPHO/USA TODAY Sports/Kirby Lee

Former Down goalkeeper Charlie Smyth says he “cannot wait to get started” in his new NFL career.

Last week saw Smyth signing a three-year NFL contract with the New Orleans Saints as a kicker as part of the league’s International Player Pathway (IPP) program.

The deal sees the 22-year-old becoming the first Irishman to earn his spot through the IPP and, speaking with Sky Sports News this week, the Mourne County native said he is eager to demonstrate his skills and become the team’s starting kicker.

"I suppose it feels a bit surreal. Coming from the position that I have where you are playing Gaelic football back home," he stated.

"Also coming from the position as a fan, I have been a huge fan of the NFL the past seven or eight years. To have the chance to kick in the Superdome in front of 73,000 people, I am absolutely buzzing and cannot wait to get started.

"I just thought I could skip it all and go straight to the NFL back when I was 18. It really has come full circle. I think I always saw the ability I had in my free-kicks in Gaelic football and thought I could transfer my skills over to American football.

"Over this past six or seven months I think I have proven I can do that and now it is just about going into training camp and showing to all the coaches I have the ability to be a starting kicker for the Saints.

"I know it is not going to be easy because they already have a very good kicker but I feel like I have the ability to turn heads in training camp and I can't wait to show what I can do."

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