QBE Sydney Swans Academy youngster Paddy Mulvey was born in a country where the sounds of cricket fill summer days, soccer, rugby league and rugby union attract crowds in their thousands and the sight of a Sherrin is rare.

But the England-born under-15s Academy livewire was always destined to end up with a Sherrin in his hands.

Paddy was among a host of Academy boys and girls at Monday night’s weekly training session at Centennial Park, many kilometres from the country he called home for the first two years of his life.

But his dad Paul took the first steps of his footy journey in St Ives colours at 10 and was still lacing up the boots for Sydney University at 32, so when Paddy arrived it was only a matter of time before his own passion for the game would spark to life.

The Canada Bay Cannons midfielder kick-started his time in the Academy in the under-12s, and he says it’s his many friends who’ve made for the most enjoyment.

“I’ve made heaps of friends in the Academy and they’re from clubs from all over Sydney,” Paddy told SwansTV.

“The Academy is a great place to make new friends and it’s such an easy environment to fit in to.

“I’m very excited for the 2019 season. This is the Benchmark year where you trial for the under-16s, so I’m going to put my head down and work really hard.”

Paddy’s dad Paul was boundary-side as his son tackled Monday’s hour-long session, and he says he’s the over the moon that his son has made so many friends through the Academy.

“The most important thing about sport – and not just footy – is the mates you make,” Paddy’s dad Paul told SwansTV.

“It’s really nice that when he plays his club footy on the weekend there’s normally always an Academy kid in the opposition, so he always knows who he’s playing against, and at the end of every game there are handshakes and chats with the other kids.

“Hopefully over his entire life he’ll know these kids as they grow up through the Academy, they’ll play footy with each other, they’ll play against each other and then they’ll be teammates in their adult footy careers. So the Academy allows him to meet kids outside the Canada Bay Cannons.”

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