DANIEL Flynn was due for a new footy anyway. After deciding earlier this year he would pursue an AFL career, the Irishman had taken his Sherrin everywhere.
He has practiced his kicking over and over on both feet, has run with the ball, learned how to bounce it proficiently, and done everything with a minimum of fuss.
He has grown accustomed to having the oval ball at his side.
But Flynn and his ball were separated last week, when he was en route to Melbourne for this week's NAB AFL Draft Combine.
"I was playing around with the ball, got through airport security and didn't think there would be a problem," Flynn told AFL.com.au.
"I got on the plane and was bouncing the ball up and down on the seat and an air hostess come over and said 'Sorry sir, we're going to have to take that'.
"I was laughing and said 'Why?' And she said 'If we don't take it the ball will explode'. I started laughing more and then she took it off me.
"It was just something to do on the plane, and use the time to get used to the ball. It was fairly worn by this stage anyway. It's in Dublin Airport now, so I'll probably never see it again."
The unfortunate incident of the ‘footy-grenade’ has been the only hiccup in Flynn's progression as he pushes to become the next international player recruited by an AFL club.
After arriving in Melbourne, he went for "a kick and a catch" with the Western Bulldogs, before meeting other clubs, including being flown to Alberton Oval by Port Adelaide on Sunday.
"I had a look around Adelaide and met a couple of the boys," said Flynn, who turned 20 last week.
"It's a lot calmer than Melbourne. It's a bit more laid-back. I enjoy it."
A young star of the All-Ireland Championships for his county Kildare, near Dublin, a few different factors were involved in Flynn's decision to try his hand at a new sport.
He tested well and impressed Tadhg Kennelly at an International Combine in April in Dublin, and realised then it was what he wanted to do, despite making some sacrifices.
"You're giving up things but you're getting stuff as well," he said.
Flynn understands he's different to almost everyone he's testing alongside this week at Etihad Stadium, but is using the point of difference the right way.
He's asking questions of some of the players, and trying to take note of what they do well, and how he can do the same things. Kennelly has given him a few tips.
From the technical side of things, the former Swan has reminded Flynn to keep his head over the ball when he's kicking and to follow through with his leg.
And in interviews with clubs, Kennelly has advised him of one thing the athletic and speedy medium defender won't be doing on an AFL ground.
"I've told him to try to slow down [when he talks]. It's a thick accent and it's very quick as well," Kennelly said.
"Daniel's pretty intelligent. He thinks about his footy and his life. He's a very funny kid, if you can understand him.
"He ticks all the boxes, and is really competitive. I'm very confident he'll get taken and so he should, he's up there with any of the boys who have come through with the same level of exposure."Twitter: @AFL_CalTwomey