Kennelly enjoys 'emotional' Kerry win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly enjoys 'emotional' Kerry win

By Belinda Tasker 21/09/2009 08:22:38 PM Comments (0)

Tadhg Kennelly has fulfilled his dream of winning Gaelic football's top prize, raising hopes he could resume his stellar AFL career.

Kennelly's county club Kerry enjoyed a convincing grand final win over rivals Cork at Dublin's famous Croke Park on Sunday, making the 28-year-old the first player to win an All Ireland medal and an AFL premiership medallion.

The victory reignited speculation that Kennelly might return to the Swans now he had successfully followed his father Tim and brother Noel in lifting the Sam Maguire Cup.

Kennelly, cheered on by Swans coach Paul Roos, described Kerry's win as "very emotional" but said it was too early to contemplate an AFL comeback.

"I don't even want to think about that tonight," Kennelly told AAP as he and Australian girlfriend Nicole prepared for a celebratory dinner with teammates and fans.

Kennelly scored twice to help Kerry to their 0-16 to 1-9 win - and 36th All Ireland title - before more than 82,000 fans.

While he was substituted early in the second half, Kennelly looked in fine form and played without any strapping on his troublesome knees or shoulders.

And just as he did when the Swans won the 2005 premiership, he danced a quick jig before holding the cup aloft before Kerry's screaming fans.

"I can barely get the words out. I'm very, very lucky to come back in my first year and reach an All Ireland final," he told RTE TV.

"It's unbelievable, very emotional. It hasn't really sunk in, I've just been thinking about my father to tell you the truth."

Kennelly, who suddenly left the Swans in January after eight years to return to Ireland, has not ruled out an AFL comeback.

Roos remains happy to discuss the idea if the Irishman wants to, but is in no rush to open talks.

"I've seen Tadhg twice this week and we didn't discuss it once," Roos told AAP.

"But I knew if he hadn't won (on Sunday) he would never come back until he did it.

"Now is the time for him to enjoy it because it's a great effort for him to do what he's done.

"I don't know what he's going to do. It's up to him to make the decision.

"He's been a great player for us so if he said `Roosy I'd love to come back can we sit down and talk about it', yeah, I'm happy to talk about it."

Kennelly effectively has until early November to contemplate a return to Sydney.

Because he did not leave the Swans until January he was included on their senior playing list in 2009.

He made his debut with the Swans in 2001 and went on to become one of their key players.

But after his 51-year-old father's sudden death in 2005, Kennelly struggled with whether he should move home to be closer to his family.

He quit Sydney in January to return to Gaelic football, an amateur sport in Ireland, so he could follow in his father and brother's footsteps and win an All Ireland final.

Roos said Kennelly's time away from AFL had helped his body recover form a succession of leg and shoulder injuries.

"I know he's competitive enough to know that if he did decide to come back to Australia he would want to do it to the best of his ability," Roos said.

"So he would be having thoughts about his body and how it's going as well."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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