Monday 20 November 2017

Kennelly dilemma over his Kerry call

Lure of full-houses in Croker pulls at heartstrings

TADHG KENNELLY has hinted that he could be again coaxed back to wear the green and gold of Kerry before the end of his playing days following his successful return last season.

Kennelly, 29, slotted straight into the Kerry team under Jack O'Connor and helped them win an All-Ireland while he also collected an All Star for his efforts in 2009.

The Listowel native had been away from the game for nearly a decade but returned to Australia and played for his club, Sydney Swans, this year and his impact was immediate.

He is currently part of Anthony Tohill's International Rule panel and has suggested that he may not return to Sydney for next year's AFL season and instead, could link up with the Kerry squad again.

"It's just not the same when I'm playing in the MCG in front of 100,000 people than when I'm playing (in Croke Park) in front of 80,000 people," Kennelly said. "And I think that's just because I grew up idolising my father; The Bomber (Eoin Liston) who is a selector, and Kerry footballers playing in Croke Park.

"It's a place I want to play in more regularly and that desire is always going to be there. It's about myself sitting back now over the next two months and seeing what's best for me."

Martin Clarke, meanwhile, will have to make a quick decision on whether he will return to his former AFL club, St Kilda, to ensure he is registered without problem.

Clarke returned after a successful spell in Oz and helped Down to an All-Ireland final this year but St Kilda and Australian manager, Mick Malthouse, has stated that he is keen on Clarke coming back to the club.

However, he would need to commit to Collingwood immediately to guarantee a no fuss return to the club for the 2011 season. A new compassionate and special circumstances rule introduced could allow Collingwood to reclaim Clarke directly, without him going through the draft.

The rule allows players previously listed with an AFL club to return directly to that club after taking a 12-month leave of absence for "exceptional and compelling circumstances". The Pies would likely cite Clarke's homesickness as the exceptional circumstances but as yet, Clarke has made no comment on the matter.

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