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Kennelly backs Walsh to succeed with Sydney Swans

The 2009 Kerry All-Ireland winner has also predicted a bright future for Dublin’s Ciaran Kilkenny.

Tommy Walsh
Tommy Walsh
Image: INPHO/Getty Images

TADHG KENNELLY HAS backed former Kerry All-Ireland winning teammate Tommy Walsh to ‘have a huge career’ with AFL outfit Sydney Swans.

Walsh was not part of the Swans squad that won their fifth Premiership title in September with a victory in the Grand Final against Hawthorn.

But Kennelly, speaking to TheScore.ie, insists that adapting to his position represents a difficult task for Walsh and also identified a shoulder injury as a hindrance to the development of the Kerins O’Rahilly’s player in 20120.

“He’s not far away at all Tommy. He’s played a few games this year and even towards the end of the year he dislocated his shoulder so he was very unlucky not to play in the final as well.

“He’s played in the hardest position on the ground, he’s playing centre half-forward which is the toughest position on the field to play. You ask any footballer that comes in to play the game, that is Australian – born and bred with the game – they struggle to play in that positino.

Tommy’s having to do it in a couple of years and he’s still quite young. They really rate Tommy in Sydney and I’m sure he’s going to have a huge career with the Swans.

Kennelly also believes Dublin’s Ciaran Kilkenny, whose move to the Melbourne-based club Hawthorn was confirmed last month, has a bright future in the sport. Kilkenny excelled last February at a trial that Kennelly had set up and that alerted the interest of Australian Rules clubs.

“We’d Ciaran at a combine, which is basically a draft where we have physical and mental testing He had two clubs very interested in him with Carlton and Hawthorn, and Hawthorn made him a very good offer.

“We’ve people all over the world identifying talent for us and keeping an eye on things for us. Ciaran was on the radar for a long time. His ability as a dual footballer and a hurler is superb. He also has the athleticism, he’s a very powerful kid. And he’s also got a superb attitude as well.”

*****

Tadhg Kennelly returns to his home town of Listowel to see his friends, family and teammates in tonight’s episode of The Gathering – Homeward Bound on RTÉ One at 7.00pm

Tadhg Kennelly: “I got the opportunity this year to travel the world and try to recruit players for the AFL. It’s been fantastic.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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