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Glass adapting to the 'foreign' game

NZ Camp: Mic'd up with Burns New assistant coach Scott Burns takes the boys through a drill and we get the inside word as he is mic'd up.

The oval-shaped Sherrin can be unpredictable at the best of times, let alone when you’ve only be kicking it for a year.

For Irish Rookie Conor Glass, AFL may never feel completely natural, but he is working tirelessly to make sure it appears that way. 

The 20-year-old made his debut in Round 18 last season, after just 52 weeks of learning a new code in a new country. 

Making an immediate impression on the field, Glass played out the remaining six rounds of the season, giving hope to the many young Irish prospects trying to make sense of the odd-shaped ball. 

“It’s still pretty foreign,” Glass admits.

“Obviously I’m still getting used to it, but I’m learning different tricks every day, different skills every day, and I feel like I’m quickly developing.

“That’s all I could have hoped for.” 

Glass’ impressive start was recognised at Hawthorn’s Peter Crimmins Medal Ceremony, as the youngster was named the Hawks’ Best First Year Player for 2017 – an accolade previously claimed by the likes of Cyril Rioli (2008), Paul Puopolo (2011) and Jack Gunston (2012). 

“It didn’t even cross my mind that I would be getting that award,” Glass said. 

“I flew back from Ireland on the Thursday, had the Best and Fairest on the Saturday, and then flew back home on the Sunday, so it was lucky I did come back. 

“When my name got called out, I had no speech prepared or anything and I had to go up and speak in front of a lot of people.

“But obviously it was a huge honour, particularly when looking at the previous people who have received it. 

“Now, I just have to back it up and play consistent, solid football in 2018.”

Read: Burgoyne opens up about being the oldest player in the league

But, achievements aside, playing a professional sport more than 17,000km from your home town can be a trying task.

“Me and Nash talk about that a lot,” Glass said. 

“It’s a complete different lifestyle to what it was like back home, because we’d probably be in university right now around our friends and family. 

“Just staying motivated and maintaining that passion for playing football makes it easier.

“And I speak to my family every week, so it doesn’t feel as though they’re that far away.”

So, what’s to come for Conor Glass?

“I’m just focusing on getting my body in good condition before Round 1.

“I can’t wait to get back into it and play some more footy.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs