Tadhg Kennelly takes over as head coach of the Great Western Sydney Giants academy

Kerryman made his name with the Sydney Swans where he won a Premiership title in 2005

Tadhg Kennelly, the only footballer to win both senior All-Ireland and AFL Premiership titles, has been appointed as head coach of the Great Western Sydney Giants academy.

The 41-year-old had filled a number of coaching roles after retiring from playing with the Sydney Swans, with whom he won the Premiership in 2005 before returning home for the 2009 season when he won an All-Ireland with Kerry. He then returned to Sydney, ending up with 197 matches played in a distinguished career, which concluded in 2011.

Kennelly returned to the club in 2018 as a development coach and two years later became their defence and midfield coach until the intervention of Covid saw him lose his job as clubs cut back on staff.

He now switches clubs in the city to head up the GWS Giants academy.


“It’s great,” he said in an interview on the club’s social media. “It’s a big change obviously. The Swans was a big chapter of my life that I’m very proud of but it’s great to be back in football and it’s great to be in the orange colours for the first time for myself. I’m pretty excited about getting at it.”

He said that his own evolution from arriving in the city as a teenager in 1999 had informed his coaching.

“I think I’ve found my place as far as development is concerned. That’s where I felt I’m best placed as a coach. I’ve got a lot of life experiences coming from the other side of the world as a young man and the challenges of AFL football. Hopefully I can pass on some of that to the coaches but also to the players, obviously.”

The club has three Irish players on its books between the men’s and women’s teams, Callum Brown from Derry, Bríd Stack, formerly of Cork, and Mayo great Cora Staunton.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times