Sydney Swans nice Josh Kennedy has shot down the prospect of there being a hangover from final yr’s grand last loss, backing his previous teammates to proceed on their upwards trajectory this season.
Sydney have been one of many tales of the 2022 season, rising from sixth in 2021 to achieve the decider earlier than being overwhelmed by 81 factors by a rampant Geelong facet.
Latest historical past has not been sort to groups who’ve been soundly overwhelmed on the most important stage.
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Since 2007, when Geelong beat Port Adelaide by a whopping 119 factors within the grand last, there have been six different groups to be overwhelmed by 40 or extra factors in a grand last.
Of the seven groups together with Port Adelaide, no workforce has completed greater than fourth within the following season, with three of the seven lacking the finals altogether.
Kennedy’s Swans rebounded after being soundly overwhelmed within the 2014 decider by Hawthorn by ending fourth in 2015, and he believes the present crop of Swans can emulate that workforce’s success as soon as once more.
“I would not suppose so. You are not contemplating it each week that you just’re taking part in. Time will inform,” he informed Extensive World of Sports activities when requested in regards to the prospect of a grand last hangover.
“I am positive the fellows will simply proceed to give attention to the method and go on the market and provides it their all each week.
“I feel they’re going to bounce again. They’re a particularly resilient group of men, not simply the gamers, the entire membership and help workers and everybody concerned.
“They will simply proceed to do what’s made them an awesome footy membership over the past 25 years.
“The competitors is so even that something might occur, however I sit as a Swans supporter now on the opposite facet of the fence and I feel for myself and everybody else in that place it should be a fairly thrilling few years forward.”
After being a mainstay within the Swans’ engine room since becoming a member of the membership in 2010, Kennedy was pressured to observe from the sidelines throughout his workforce’s run to the grand last final yr, an expertise he admitted was “bittersweet”.
He performed the final of his 290 video games in a spherical 10 loss to Carlton and by no means received picked once more, solely being referred to as upon as an unused substitute in a spherical 20 win over the Giants.
“I might’ve liked to have completed my profession taking part in in an AFL sport and understanding it is my final sport, however fairytale finishes do not come round too usually,” he mentioned.
“I actually did not count on it, so it did not trouble me an excessive amount of. I nonetheless received a large amount of pleasure watching the fellows develop and getting higher each week and simply constructed on the joy all year long of going from energy to energy.”
Regardless of the grand last defeat, Sydney prolonged John Longmire‘s contract for one more two years, a deal which was “well-earned” in response to Kennedy.
“It is an incredible feat for him personally,” he mentioned.
“He places a lot coronary heart and soul into his teaching, his gamers and the entire membership.
“The choice to signal on for 2 years I do know was a really thought of one and he is aware of in addition to anybody and positively wouldn’t underestimate the trouble and want it takes to get again within the driver’s seat and to proceed to push for a premiership.
“He leads by instance and it is nice for the footy membership.”
Whereas Kennedy is not within the Swans’ engine room, he leaves behind an inventory brimming with younger expertise, and named 20-year-old midfielder Errol Gulden as a main breakout candidate for 2023.
“He is received a whole lot of pure capability, however he is simply an absolute sponge and so coachable by way of following directions,” he mentioned.
“He is received an previous head on younger shoulders having the ability to perceive the sport plan, having the ability to soak all of it up.
“His depth round coaching and coaching requirements and willingness to get higher mixed together with his pure skills makes for a fairly thrilling package deal initially of his profession.”
Kennedy could not be on an AFL subject, however he is develop into the most recent retired nice to place his title within the hat for the 2023 Carlton Draft, becoming a member of Kane Cornes, Nathan Buckley, Jordan Lewis and Bernie Vince, and mentioned he could not flip down the prospect after listening to of previous gamers’ experiences.
“I was a bit hesitant at first given I wasn’t positive how I would really feel, whether or not I would need to play a sport of footy, however speaking with a couple of people who have finished it up to now and listening to from the fellows who did it final yr who mentioned it was considered one of their greatest experiences, I assumed I would give it a crack,” he mentioned.
Entries for the 2023 Carlton Draft throughout Victoria are actually open. To appoint your membership head to http://www.thecarltondraft.com.au. Entries shut March 27 with six fortunate golf equipment to be introduced in early April.
“It has been a very long time since I’ve performed a sport of footy the place you are not placing as a lot strain on your self as I’ve over the course of my profession.
“It is actually taking part in for enjoyable and getting again to the roots of taking part in sport, it is all in regards to the enjoyment.
“It has been a very long time since that is been the case so I am wanting ahead to getting again to it.”
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