American Football: Newcastle City Aussie rules goal kicker Mitch Crawford scores US college contract as punter for Vanderbilt

Mitch Crawford was kicking goals for Black Diamond AFL team Newcastle City less than two years ago.

Now he will be kicking downfield for US college football side Vanderbilt after being signed up as a punter.

“Excited to announce and that I have committed to attend and punt for Vanderbilt University in Nashville,” Crawford posted recently on social media. 

The 23-year-old was the Hunter competition’s leading goal scorer in City’s 2016 premiership campaign, but left for AFL-heartland Melbourne shortly after to join the Pro Kick Australia program to follow his gridiron dream.  

Looking forward to getting started and repaying the faith that has been shown in me by Vanderbilt University.”

Mitch Crawford

The move away from No.1 Sportsground has paid off and next season Crawford will line-up in the Southeastern conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association competition.

The former University of Newcastle student and Lambton High School graduate was grateful for those who helped the contract become reality.

“All this could not be possible without the hard work from Nathan Chapman and John Smith creating this opportunity for me,” Crawford said.

“Also thankful for the support from my parents and other family in Melbourne.

“A big thanks to Billy Coffey and the Pinpoint crew for helping me when I was back in Newcastle and also Dave at Conquest Athletics who works with the Pro Kick guys.

“Looking forward to getting started and repaying the faith that has been shown in me by Vanderbilt University and their football staff.”

Meanwhile, many around the Hunter region tuned into watch Monday’s Superbowl, including venues such as The Burwood Inn and Family Hotel, with the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the New England Patriots 41-33.