Speculation has been growing that Kerry may give a squad jersey to Kennelly for the 79,000 sellout. But the selectors, possibly mindful of the unnecessary problems caused by the captain’s controversy last season surrounding Eoin Brosnan, will decide against drafting in the Listowel man.
Tadgh and his brother Noel will be officially informed of their fate tonight Noel will be included in the 30-man panel if the selectors are satisfied that he has recovered sufficiently from a hip injury. Younger brother Tadhg, who has returned on holiday from Australia Rules Football with the Sydney Swans was drafted into senior training last week after an impressive display with the U21s in their All-Ireland semi-final loss to Galway. Had he returned a few weeks earlier, the selectors may have been prepared to draft him onto the panel, but it is too close to the final to upset the existing group of players at this stage.
Tadhg said last night: “Naturally, I will be disappointed if I don’t make it, as I was told at the outset that I would be in with a chance but I am only too happy to give whatever help I can to Kerry football.”
Kennelly said he had been adjusting quickly and well to the change of codes in the past two weeks.
“I took part in three sessions with the seniors last week. I felt a little tired after the Tuesday night session but I was flying on the Thursday night. I was playing most of the trainings at midfield or in the half-forward line and am settling in well. But I am settling back into Gaelic football quicker than I expected. I took a bad bang on the leg last Saturday week against Galway in Ennis but it is fine again.”
The Listowel lad, who played three years with the Kerry minors and four years with the U21s, is also training with the Irish compromise rules team in preparation for their clashes with Australia at Croke Park next month.
“We were training last Friday in Portmarnock, and there is huge interest amongst the lads with over 25 players like Pádraig Joyce and Darren Fay turning up. I gave a hand with the training.”