Kennelly returns to training with Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly returns to training with Swans

By Greg Buckle 18/11/2009 03:40:01 PM Comments (0)

Tadhg Kennelly is back training with the Sydney Swans and coach Paul Roos is the one who should be dancing a jig.

Kennelly was a key player at halfback for the Swans in their 2005 AFL premiership side and famously danced for joy as part of his on-field celebrations.

But in 2009 he left Australia and won an All-Ireland Gaelic football title with Kerry, dancing another jig at Croke Park in September before breaking down in tears with thoughts of his late father Tim.

Tadhg has touched the hearts of fans in both countries by completing what he calls a "big circle" with his return to the Swans.

Tim Kennelly, who won five All-Irelands between 1975 and 1981, died suddenly in December 2005, and Tadhg was constantly drawn to the idea of emulating his famous father by representing his home county.

After a "fairytale" season in Ireland, the 158-game veteran is back with the Swans on a two-year deal.

Kennelly feels he owes the Swans a lot and he's keen to repay them as part of a strong defensive unit of running players including Rhyce Shaw and Nick Malceski.

"The club has been an unbelievable support for me," he said on Wednesday.

"I feel I'll be a much much better player personally because I don't have that drawcard of going back any more.

"I feel that weight off my shoulders now.

"There was times when I was going to a game here in Australia when I was thinking 'God, I wish I was going to Croke Park to play with Kerry'.

"Everyone knows the emotional context involved with winning the All-Ireland, with my father.

"I practically broke down straight after the game. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

"It's just that raw emotion that I'd done something that I'd always wanted to do.

"I saw my mum straight afterwards, my brother, my sister, my family, Roosy, there was a lot of joy for me to do it."

Kennelly said just being around Roos again helped him warm to the idea of returning to the AFL.

"After the game we had a good chat for a couple of hours," the 28-year-old said.

"I suppose it was just that good feeling that I had around Roosy, being such a good bloke.

"He has been fantastic to me ever since I came to the club.

"For the first time in my life I decided what I wanted to do as a person and not worried about everyone else.

"It took me about two weeks and it took me another three or four weeks to try to convince my mum and I think I have convinced her.

"Initially there was a lot of arguing and we didn't really talk a whole lot.

"There wasn't too many smiles then.

"It's probably as tough as when I was 18 coming out here.

"I've made my mind up that this is where I'm going to live."

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