'I would never turn my back on Kerry'
Published 05/12/2011 | 05:00
Tadhg Kennelly has left the door open for a return to the green and gold in 2012. His last appearance in a Kerry jersey was in the victorious 2009 All-Ireland SFC final against Cork, in which the Listowel Emmets powerhouse played a key role.
After bringing a successful Aussie Rules career with the Sydney Swans to an end, the 30-year-old -- who's the only person to win both the All-Ireland title and the AFL Premiership -- said yesterday that "he'd never turn his back on Kerry" and supporters in the Kingdom would love to see a repeat of his 2009 exploits, which illustrate his importance and his consistency.
Tadhg's 2009 championship
Munster SFC semi-final
Starts midfield alongside Micheal Quirke and scores 0-1. Replaced in injury-time by Sean O'Sullivan as Kerry make up a five-point deficit to secure a draw.
Munster SFC semi-final replay
Lines out at wing-forward and scores a point as Darragh O Se and Tommy Griffin team up in the engine room. Cork make no mistake this time in a game that sees throw-in delayed by 20 minutes due to crowd congestion.
All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2
A broken finger sustained in training means that Kennelly plays no part against Longford as Kerry's interval lead is enough to see them through, even if they only manage two points in the second half.
All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 3
Kennelly is still out injured as the Kingdom scrape through in Tralee. It might have been the end of the road for his dream of joining his father and brother as All- Ireland winners but David Kelly's penalty is saved by Diarmuid Murphy and Kerry survive.
Qualifiers Round 4
Kennelly is back in the side, operating at centre-forward before being replaced by Donnacha Walsh after 43 minutes. Once again, Kerry are pushed hard with the sides level with 10 minutes to go. Paul Galvin's goal effectively decides the issue as his gallop towards the Footballer of the Year gong develops serious momentum.
Kennelly is left out of the side in favour of Donnacha Walsh but replaces him on the half-hour. By that stage, Kerry's demolition job is already well under way and Kennelly helps himself to two points. Once again, Kerry come to life when they get to Croke Park.
Kennelly is restored to the starting line-up at centre-forward for the clash with Meath and kicks another two points with Kerry in control from pillar to post. A late Meath goal adds a certain gloss to the scoreline. For only the second time in the year, Kennelly finishes the 70 minutes.
All-Ireland SFC final
Starts his first All-Ireland final at wing-forward and is replaced by Donnacha Walsh in the second half. Kicks a further two points to bring his tally for the year to 0-7 from play as he completes a unique double.