FOXBOROUGH — The newest addition to the Patriots roster just gave the media a lesson in Aussie rules football.
Punter David King signed with the Patriots yesterday a year and a half after he decided to pursue American football. King played semi pro Aussie rules football for Bundoora, Euroa and Norwood for the past seven years, and now he is ready for another challenge.
“I’d say it’s a combination of soccer, American football, rugby and there’s a sport called Gaelic football in Ireland,” King said. “It’s a combination of all of them on an oval field probably about 170 yards long and there’s 36 guys on the field at any one time and the direction of play goes every which way, it’s not just sort of up and down. It’s a lot of body contact too.”
While the rules are different than what is played in the NFL, King said he is taking every opportunity to learn as much as he can about the NFL. He has met with Bill Belichick and special teams coach Scott O’Brien.
“It’s just a dream you know,” said King, who is 28 years old. “I want to do something different that people back home really never do. It’s throwing yourself out there in the deep end and it’s a long process to get here and I just want to make sure people back home are proud of me.”
King is from Melbourne, Australia and was working as an architectural rep for a hardware company when he wasn’t playing football. He came to the U.S. last year to participate in a kicking camp and has been working on his technique, he said.
The Patriots were the first team to show significant interest, he said.
King said he is following in the footsteps of Darren Bennett, who played Aussie rules football and eventually played 10 years in the NFL (1995-2005).
“I don’t have a great deal of knowledge (about the NFL),” King said. “I do like the game I can tell you that much. We don’t get a great deal of it on TV. I’m here to learn.”