THE SYDNEY Swans have signed 24-year-old Patrick Mitchell, a 201cm American who weighs 107kg, as an international rookie.
He will be on the Sydney Swans' list until the end of 2015.
From Des Moines, Iowa, Mitchell has been playing basketball with the University of North Dakota and is expected to begin training with the Sydney Swans in October.
His program will be worked out in the next few weeks but he will start training while the rest of the group is on leave.
Swans coach John Longmire was as impressed with Mitchell's determination to learn the game as he was with his athletic prowess.
"There is potential for players who haven't got a background in AFL football to develop and have an opportunity to play League football if they have the right mindset, are prepared to work, and have some athletic talent," Longmire said. "We think that's what Patrick has got – a combination of all of those attributes."
Mitchell said he has already started training in the States, running and doing weights while working on his kicking.
He knows he has plenty of work ahead of him but is confident he can make the grade.
"I think I can make it, but it's going to be with a lot of hard work," Mitchell told sydneyswans.com.au. "I want to be really good at this sport and I understand the hard work that it's going to take."
Mitchell visited the club in early July alongside fellow other US hopefuls Mark Cisco and Jason Holmes, who were also vying for a place on the Swans' rookie list.
The Sydney Swans have recruited two premiership players from overseas with Irishman Tadhg Kennelly playing in the 2005 flag and Canadian Mike Pyke, being part of the 2012 premiership.