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Port signs up son-of-a-gun swim sensation Chalmers


The next big thing in Australian swimming has been snapped up by Port Adelaide.

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But Dolphins coach Jacco Verhaeren coach can breath easy.

AFL-mad young gun Kyle Chalmers will be following in his father Brett’s footsteps to Port – but it won’t be as a player.

Rio Olympic selection Chalmers – just 17 – revealed he would take up a yet to be determined “informal working role” at Port as early as next week.

In the past that would sound alarm bells for Swimming Australia, who at one stage feared Chalmers would be lost to AFL.

But Chalmers hoped linking with the club – where his dad Brett played 25 AFL games and won four flags in the SANFL – would help him adjust to life as a professional swimmer.

Brett Chalmers also played 50 matches for the Adelaide Crows after being controversially banned from playing for Collingwood, where he was initially drafted.

Kyle has been a sensation at the Rio swimming trials in Adelaide, claiming Olympic selection with a 100m freestyle silver medal in world junior record time.

The blistering effort helped deny his idol James Magnussen an individual 100m berth and a shot at Olympic redemption after his shock London silver medal finish.

Chalmers hopes his stint at Port will help him take the next step as a professional athlete ahead of his Rio tilt.

“I did my work experience with the Power and my management company got in contact with them and my dad’s obviously got pretty big links with the club,” Chalmers said.

“They were pretty keen to get me on board again to do some minor role there and see what it’s like to be a professional athlete and see how they prepare for their games there.”

Chalmers said the role would work perfectly with his swimming training after opting to finish his year 12 studies in 2016 from home.

“We have decided that’s the easiest way, it means I can focus on training and get my naps in during the day and feel what it’s like to be a professional athlete for the first time,” Chalmers said.

“I went for the first three days of year 12 [in Adelaide] and decided it was going to be pretty tough to get through the year.

“We decided as a family that it would be easier to try to do it from home.”

Chalmers said he was not getting too carried away with his 100m heroics.

“I think one of my strengths is staying composed,” he said.

“Growing up in the country, I like to be like that country boy and keep that mentality.”

Chalmers ensured he kept a level head before the 100m final by politely declining all media requests in the lead-up to the Adelaide trials.


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