Plenty more where I came from: Kennelly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Plenty more where I came from: Kennelly

By Tom Wald 29/01/2009 09:03:21 PM Comments (0)

Departing Irishman Tadhg Kennelly expects plenty of his young countrymen to be heading in the opposite direction to fill up AFL playing rosters in the coming seasons.

Kennelly, who announced he is heading home for good on Thursday after a decade in Sydney, said the demand for talented Gaelic footballers would only increase in an expanded AFL competition of 18 teams by 2012.

"Without a doubt there are a lot of interest with two new clubs coming into the competition as well and clubs losing draft picks (because of draft concessions to new clubs)," said Kennelly.

"They are going to be looking for ready made talent and obviously Ireland has been a proven success at that and so more clubs are going to look for kids from Ireland.

"I will head back and be encouraging anyone who wants to come over here to give it a crack."

Swans coach Paul Roos said that Kennelly's successful 158-game career, that included becoming the first Irishman to win a flag, had opened up more doors for youngsters from the Emerald Isle.

"I think Tadhg has been largely responsible for a lot of them coming over because Tadhg has been a great ambassador for the game and well looked up to in Ireland and a lot of kids get in contact with him and speak to him," Roos said.

Roos also said the club would be keeping in touch with Kennelly for a potential scouting role down the track.

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