Kennelly out to regain SCG advantage - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly out to regain SCG advantage

Rob Forsaith 15/07/2011 06:09:48 PM Comments (0)

The last time Sydney finished an AFL season with a losing record at the SCG, Irishman Tadhg Kennelly was an untried experiment on the rookie list and John Longmire had enjoyed his first season of retirement.

The SCG's uniquely small dimensions have always meant a genuine home advantage for the Swans, who excelled at the venue over the past decade.

That is except in 2000, when Sydney finished the season with a 6-7 record at the SCG, their only home ground at the time.

After losing to AFL pacesetters Geelong, Hawthorn and Carlton at the SCG this year, the Swans are currently 2-3 and risk breaking their impressive run at the ground.

There will be plenty more at stake when the sixth-placed Swans host seventh-placed Fremantle at the SCG on Sunday, but the side's troubles at home aren't lost on the side.

"You don't want to talk too negatively about things like that but it is at the forefront of some of the players," Kennelly said.

"It's always tough when you focus on it too much ... you forget about doing the process of winning the game and how you're going to beat Fremantle.

"We need to get back to doing the basics really well.

"We've played some pretty good teams up here but that's no excuse, you want to win all your home games when you can."

The Swans face a potentially season-defining fortnight of football, with their second bye of the season coming after clashes with Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs.

Kennelly is wary of the desperate Dockers - who last season ended a 14-year SCG hoodoo.

"They've had a week off, they've freshened up. They say it's good timing for them and they're talking up their tackling and contested football - so we're expecting a real tough game this weekend," he said.

"It is huge...they'll be firing and they'll be coming for our spot on the ladder."

Kennelly signed a two-year deal with the Swans late in 2009 after returning to Ireland for one season of Gaelic football.

The 29-year-old has delayed contract discussions to focus on his own form.

"We started talking about a new contract and I just told them to wait a couple more weeks after the bye and then we can start talking - because I just want to concentrate more on my football," he said.

"My body feels great which is always good...but my form has been up and down, I've probably been trying to do too much in games - and it's affecting my game.

"(I've been) trying to drive too much run all the time, and probably tiring myself out an awful lot earlier in the game, because I'm trying to do too much.

"It's not as if we don't have enough blokes who can run with the ball. I've just got to take it easy and relax a bit more."

Longmire said the veteran's inconsistent form could be put down to a pre-season knee injury.

"He had an operation just before Christmas and it meant that he was a long way behind in his pre-season...(it's only been) the last week or two he's been able to train both times during the week," Longmire said.

Kennelly became the first Irishman to win an AFL premiership medal in 2005.

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