Kennelly pledges loyalty to Australia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennelly pledges loyalty to Australia

By Adrian Warren 16/03/2004 06:13:02 AM Comments (0)

One day after celebrating St Patrick's Day, Irish-born Swans AFL star Tadhg Kennelly pledged his allegiance to Australia and revealed he wouldn't mind a crack in the forward line.

With Swans coach Paul Roos and teammates Michael O'Loughlin, Adam Goodes and Andrew Schauble present, 23-year-old Kennelly was presented with his Australian citizenship by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgraves in a ceremony at the Sydney Opera House.

"What better landmark than outside the Opera House and with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, it was fantastic, it was organised perfectly, a really good day," Kennelly said.

A member of a distinguished Gaelic Football family, a code in which he also excelled, Kennelly joined the Swans at the end of 1999.

He decided to commit to Australia last year as he cemented his future in Australian Rules by playing all 24 games and signing a new three year contract.

"It kind of really finalised it to me, because before I was still up in the air whether I could play good football or whether I was good enough.

"Now I have the confidence that I can actually try and set myself a future."

He admitted it was strange to take the Oath of Allegiance just a day after participating in the St Patrick's Day parade in Sydney.

"It was strange in the way that I was with some Irish friends yesterday and then today I was with Australian friends, it's all good," Kennelly said.

His decision prompted a flurry of leg-pulling messages, from both Australian and Irish acquaintances.

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