FAMILY AFFAIR: Matt Kennedy (top left) with brothers (clockwise) Dan, Nick and James before last year’s Riverina League grand final with Collingullie. Picture: Laura Hardwick
COLLINGULLIE young gun Matt Kennedy admits the past 12 months have been a whirlwind ride that has exceeded all his expectations.
After having shied away from the traditional talent pathways for most of his teenage years, Kennedy decided 12 months ago to join Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Giants Academy.
It was at the request of the Giants team in Wagga after he took all before him at senior level in 2014, including a representative best-on-ground performance and a Riverina Leaguepremiership.
Fast forward a year and Kennedy is in Adelaide, having been invited to attend Tuesday night’s AFL Draft as a likely first round selection.
Kennedy said if someone had of told him the circumstances he is now in, 12 months ago, he would have laughed it off.
“I wouldn’t have believed it, I’d say you’re dreaming,” Kennedy said.
“My plan was, I was hoping to play good enough to get rookie listed by the Giants.
“I had no idea, andno one knew me. I thought if I had a good year then I might be a chance of a rookie list at the Giants.
“Now I’m over here in Adelaide.”
Kennedy said he has a range of feelings ahead of the draft.
“Nervous, excited, worried, all of the above,” he said.
“It’s exciting to think I will get to live out my dream of AFL footy.
“There’s also still a bit of doubt, even though I’m over here andthey say that if you get an invite then you’re nearly a 100 per cent chance of being drafted, which is kind of weird.
“I’m still a little bit worried that it might not happen.”
A number of clubs have travelled to Wagga to meet with Kennedy since the season’s end, about nine in total between visits and the AFL Combine.
GWS will have the chance to match any bid for Kennedy with the 18-year-old hearing that Essendon and Adelaide are among the clubs keenest to select him.
“It’s hard to know what will happen with this live bidding system,” he said.
“The Giants might decide I’m not worth the amount of points, or want to save points for Jacob Hopper, Harry Himmelberg or Matt Flynn.
“There is a lot of talent about and they’ve got to decide between all of us.”
He has been given a quick introduction to the life of an AFL player since arriving in Adelaide with his parents Vicki and Frank on Sunday.
Kennedy had to undergo a 90 minute media session on Monday.
While he will attend the Draft, brothers James, Dan and Nick will be right behind him at home, watching it unfold on TV.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.