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Swan Kennelly not done with AFL: Longmire

Rob Forsaith 25/08/2011 06:10:21 PM Comments (0)

Tadhg Kennelly remains sidelined, but Sydney coach John Longmire has rubbished suggestions the out-of-form veteran may have played his last AFL game for the club.

Longmire dropped Kennelly for last week's crunch clash with St Kilda, triggering speculation the 30-year-old's 193-game career was over.

Kennelly, who is uncontracted for 2012, was unable to earn a recall for Saturday's game against Geelong with Longmire naming him an emergency.

Despite overlooking Kennelly for the penultimate game of the regular season, Longmire was confident the rebounding defender still had a role to play this season.

"Yes - is the short answer. Tadhg's played on the weekend, had 30-odd possessions - we had a really good win in our reserves, but he certainly got enough of the footy to suggest he's still got something to give this year," Longmire said.

"There's a couple of important games to go obviously, and he's certainly in calculations for those games. We certainly haven't put a line through him at all."

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

The Irishman delayed contract discussions this season to focus on his own patchy form, and Longmire confirmed they wouldn't resume until after the 2011 season is finished.

"We'll sit down at the end of the year and talk to him about a whole range of issues but we'll do that after the season's finished," he said.

"Because we just look at what's in front of us now. We'll let those discussions take place after the season."

Longmire dismissed the notion Kennelly, who won a premiership with the side in 2005, would be playing for his career over the next fortnight.

"I think that we'll probably discuss a bit more than just two games to be fair."

Sydney made two changes to the side that defeated St Kilda at ANZ Stadium, recalling Luke Parker and Brett Meredith at the expense of Lewis Jetta (omitted) and Jarrad McVeigh, whose baby daughter died in hospital on Wednesday.

The Swans are expected to have their hands full on the weekend when they attempt to stop Geelong's AFL record 29-game winning streak at Skilled Stadium.

The seventh-placed Swans haven't downed the Cats in Geelong since 1999, with co-captain Adam Goodes the only player on their current list to have played in that victory.

Longmire said his side would be buoyed by their 15-point win over the Saints.

"We've got a very strong group of players here that are able to focus on the moment and look forward to playing Geelong in Geelong. It's one of the great challenges in footy."

The Swans could hypothetically finish anywhere between sixth and 10th on the ladder, depending on their last two games of the season against Geelong and Brisbane.

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