Tadhg Kennelly announces AFL retirement

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Updated: September 1, 2011

Its good news for Kerry fans but bad news for Sydney Swans when an emotional Tadhg Kennelly decided to call time on his AFL career at a press conference last night.

The first Irishman to ever win an AFL premiership in 2005, he was thought to have wanted to play for another season but his form was poor for the last couple of months and finally he had to admit to himself the time was right.

“It’s been a difficult decision. The last couple of weeks I’ve been battling with myself to figure out whether to play on or not,” Kennelly told a packed press conference.

“But I’ve decided I’m in a good place at the moment and I’m quite happy to go out at the end of the season.

“I’m looking forward to playing Brisbane on the weekend and going deep into September.”

“There was some anguish and mental stress I’ve been putting myself under and worrying about it,” he said.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wish I’d made the decision earlier. It would’ve helped my performance.

“It was extremely emotional (telling my teammates). It’s a very hard thing to do.

“You don’t want to give it away, you just want to play football with your mates.

“It was extremely difficult and something I don’t want to do again.

“The boys have been great and that’s what I’m going to miss most.”

“It’s a pretty easy gig. Ask a few questions and go have some lattes in Coogee afterwards,” he joked.

“That’s what I want to do after footy.”

“Probably doing that jig in 2005 was a pretty good highlight,” he said.

“There’s been quite a few.

“I think the main one is just people I’ve met and mates I’ve made.

“On field success is great but it’s the relationships you have which are fantastic.

“It’s been an unbelievable journey and an unbelievable ride and something I would do again.

“I came out as a 17-year-old knowing nothing about the game, 15,000 kilometres away from your family.

“It was hard, but the more you put into it the more you get out of it.”

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