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Green Bay Packers Fans Were Hugely Impressed With Irish Punter During NFL Debut

Green Bay Packers Fans Were Hugely Impressed With Irish Punter During NFL Debut
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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While the return of the NFL over the weekend was an exciting prospect for American football fans throughout the globe, those in Ireland had an added interest due to the presence of a new punter on the Green Bay Packers roster.

Prior to yesterday, an Irish born player had not played an NFL snap since 1985, when Dubliner Neil O'Donoghue featured for the final time in the league. There have been a few close misses since then, but we were forced to 37 years to see another player from this country feature.

That all came to an end yesterday, when Enniskerry native Daniel Whelan suited up for the Packers in their season opener against division rivals the Chicago Bears.

Green Bay Packers fans impressed by NFL debut of Irish punter

Whelan moved to the United States as a 13-year old, soon taking up American football having previously played rugby and soccer.

He would go on to star at the collegiate level with UC Davis, although he would have to wait a couple of years for an opportunity to play in the NFL.


It would finally come last night, with Whelan at one point producing a booming 67-yard punt to mark his debut.

A brilliant moment.

The American broadcasters certainly played up to the Irish angle in the fixture, with Fox playing a bit of Dropkick Murphys after his first involvement.



His punting was not the only contribution to the team during the 38-20 victory. The 24-year old also acted as the holder during place kicks, a hugely important role.

He did well in that regard, including for one kick that featured a wayward snap. In all, Packers fans were very impressed with the performance of the Irishman on his debut in the NFL.

The Green Bay Packers have gone through quite a few punters in recent seasons, although hopes will be high that Daniel Whelan can lock down the position moving forward.

It would be great to see an Irishman in action when we tune into the NFL every weekend over the coming months.

SEE ALSO: Johnny Sexton's Gesture During The Anthems Showed His Captain's Smarts

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