A former AFL footballer is preparing to head overseas after earning an opportunity with the National Football League as an international prospect.

Patrick Murtagh, who was previously AFL-listed with the Gold Coast Suns, is America-bound after earning selection to the NFL's International Player Pathway program.

The IPP, constructed by the NFL in 2017, aims to provide international athletes the chance to compete at the level and potentially earn a spot on an NFL roster.

This year's IPP class features 11 unique athletes from around the world, including Murtagh and former NRL prospect Jotham Russell, who was previously a part of the Brisbane Broncos Academy program.

"We are thrilled to welcome the International Player Pathway program Class of 2024," said Peter O'Reilly, executive vice president of international, club business and major events at the NFL.

"As we focus on the global growth of the game, expanding international talent within the NFL is critical — connecting our sport with fans across the world.

"The 2024 program participants are an elite, diverse group of athletes and we look forward to following their journeys in the months ahead."

Australian Jordan Mailata, now a top-paid offensive tackle with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a successful graduate of the IPP program.

Murtagh, initially a prospective ruck-forward at the AFL level, joined the Carrara fray in 2020 as a Category B rookie signing.

While the soon-to-be 24-year-old didn't play any senior games for the Suns, he totalled 28 VFL matches for Gold Coast across the 2021-22 seasons.

Murtagh averaged 7.9 disposals per game and booted 5.7 through those 28 reserves outings before being delisted at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Murtagh, Russell and their fellow IPP nominees will begin training in the United States in January at IMG Academy before having the opportunity to showcase their talents to NFL scouts in March.