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Kennelly inks European deal
Sam Kennelly will be playing his baseball in the Netherlands in 2018
04/14/2018 11:17 PM ET
 (Ian Knight)

Sixteen months after suffering a career-threatening elbow injury, Perth Heat star Sam Kennelly has penned a deal to play for the De Glaskong Twins in the Dutch Honkbal Hoofdklasse for 2018.

Kennelly hopes the deal is the first step towards returning to professional baseball in the U.S.

"The ideal goal for me is to sign a contract to play in the States," he said.

In December 2016, Kennelly's baseball career was put on hold after he was cut by the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation before needing Tommy John Surgery to repair a bust elbow.

The 22-year-old has since made a successful return to the field, helping the Melville Braves to their fourth WA State League 1 title in the past five years.

"Winning with the Braves was pretty special," Kennelly said.

"It was actually the first final I've played in."

The infielder is eyeing the same success in the Netherlands and says his injury concerns are nothing but a distant memory.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to a schedule that mirrors a professional schedule."

"For me, it's a good thing I can swing a bat as hard as I can or throw a ball as hard as I can without anything in the back of my mind."

The young-gun hopes a strong season will propel him towards a spot in Australia's side for the U23 World Cup in Nicaragua in October.

"That's a team I want to make before coming back to the Perth Heat," he said.

The Twins open their campaign on 26 April against the Storks with the Dutch season running through to September.

Kennelly will then return to the Heat for the 2018/19 Australian Baseball League Season after missing all of last season.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.