Kennelly clues up on interstate rivalry - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly clues up on interstate rivalry

By Robert Grant 07/05/2008 07:07:25 PM Comments (0)

Irishman Tadhg Kennelly admits he will have to learn how to generate some anti-Victorian animosity very quickly ahead of this weekend's AFL Hall of Fame match.

The Swans premiership defender, who will line up for the Dream Team against Victoria at the MCG on Saturday, has been forced to look to his teammates for tips on how interstate rivalry works.

"It's pretty hard but it's something I'm trying to feed off the rest of the players that have been here," Kennelly said.

"Obviously AFL is very, very strong in Victoria and I really do see myself as a New South Welshman, now I've been in Sydney for 10 years.

"It's definitely something that you can see they have a lot of pride in and it would be great to get one over them."

Kennelly, one of the league's Irish recruitment success stories, said he was delighted to be the only `foreigner' in the side.

"I don't really feel like it, I've been here 10 years now but I'm very proud - it's an honour to be selected to play.

"Just meeting all the players is something we don't get an opportunity to do a whole lot in Sydney, playing with them and training with them and you can learn habits from them.

"I didn't even think I'd be playing at the MCG or playing Aussie Rules 15 years ago.

"It's been a long road and it's good to get recognised.

"It's a great opportunity for me to learn and play so much with the best players in the competition and learn so much from them.

"It's picking their brains more than anything else. Andrew McLeod is a similar type of player to myself - those types of players, you just want to learn as much from them and the way they carry themselves."

Kennelly said his selection in the team had been vindication for his decision to leave Ireland and start a new life in Australia.

"It is and it's great to get recognised amongst such good players.

"I left a lot behind and it's just good to know that a lot of the hard work I've done in the past has paid off," he said.

"Home's always going to be home no matter where in the world you're from I think but it is feeling more like home every year that I play here."

According to Kennelly the team which communicates better off the field is likely to have the edge in the clash.

"You don't know which way it's going to go, it's which team gets on a bit together off the field more than anything else then see if they can gel on the field," he said.

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