Kennelly set to stay in Ireland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly set to stay in Ireland

By James Dampney 22/09/2009 07:48:12 PM Comments (0)

Former Sydney star Tadhg Kennelly appears to have turned his back on a return to the AFL in favour of remaining with All-Ireland champions Kerry.

Kennelly abruptly left the Swans during this year's pre-season to return to his native Ireland and fulfill a lifelong dream of winning a Gaelic football title with County Kerry.

He achieved that goal on Sunday, helping Kerry to the All-Ireland championship in his first season, when they defeated the more-favoured Cork by four points at Dublin's Croke Park.

Swans coach Paul Roos and some of his former teammates were in the crowd.

Considering Kennelly had secured his goal at the first attempt, there was growing speculation he would return to the harbour city to again play in the AFL.

The 28-year-old says he still has some thinking to do, but plans to re-commit to Kerry, the team that both his late father Tim and his brother Noel helped to All-Ireland titles.

"I am committing (to Kerry)," Kennelly was quoted as saying by the Irish Times newspaper.

"I've had a great time at Sydney. I haven't really thought about it at the moment, but I will sit down and have a good think about it.

"My head is truly, truly set on Kerry. And my heart. That's probably the main thing that has come out here."

Roos spent about half an hour with his former dashing defender after his victory on Sunday, but said the topic of Kennelly returning to Sydney wasn't raised.

The Sydney coach has repeatedly said he would love to have Kennelly back in the red and white, but wouldn't try to push him into it.

"He came back here (to Kerry) and it's something he's wanted to do for a long time," Roos said.

"To come back and do it in his first year ... he fought hard to get his place in the team.

"He had a couple of injuries early in the year, but has played well in the last month. He's been terrific and I'm so pleased for him.

"I thought he was very good (in the final)."

Kennelly sacrificed a lucrative AFL contract when he returned home to Ireland, but Kerry manager Jack O'Connor believes the experience in front of more than 82,000 fans at Croke Park would have made it all worthwhile.

"He sacrificed a lot to come back and do what he did," O'Connor said.

"I'm sure he feels it's all worth it now, because money can't buy that scene out there in Croke Park (on Sunday), in the sea of green and gold.

"Money can't buy that stuff."

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