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Tadhg Kennelly

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Irish and AFL champion, coach

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About me

  • AFL
  • Coach
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Sydney Swans

Born in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland Tadhg Kennelly is the son of a Kerry football star and grew up playing GAA both for local and county teams. 

In 1999, he made the momentous decision to move to Australia to play Aussie Rules football. He debuted for the Sydney Swans in 2001 and went on to become one of their star players. 

In 2005 he won an AFL Premiership medal with the Swans, the first Irishman to do so. He was plagued by injury throughout his final season in Australia, but through both his columns on the Sydney Swans website and the attention lavished on him by Australian broadcasters, Tadhg retained a high profile. In 2009 he returned to Ireland and joined the Kerry County panel. He returns to SYDNEY to play two more years before chronic knee and shoulders issues ended his very successful career. 

Following retirement he went into recruiting and everything to do with International recruiting. recruiting players like Mason Cox, Connor Mckenna, Mark O Connor just to name a few. 

He was then appointed head coach of the Sydney Swans reserves and in his first year they reached the Grand Final. He was then promoted to the Swans defends and team defends coach. He is now at the Swans as the Swans Midfield coach.

Life after football was a challenge. Coming from having everything done for you to finding your own two feet. It certainly took me a while to adjust but unbeknown to myself the lessons I learnt while playing have really stood to me in life after football. Really without knowing it, I have a real drive/determination to set goals and reach them, something which was very much a part of my day to day life as a footballer. 

The one thing I miss from living as a professional footballer is the constant feedback you receive good or bad. This was how you improved as an athlete and certainly today it is something in which I have to go and chase up. 

I am so fortunate to have a life which involves sport and everyday I count my lucky stars that I'm involved in something i love doing like providing opportunities and life lessons to the next generation.

Based in

  • New South Wales

Available in

  • New South Wales


Kicked off our day with some great stories and some great insight