Yesterday, manager Sean Boylan released the names of 39 players still in contention for places, half of whom have not previously been involved.
In addition to Kennelly, former Laois minor Colm Begley, who plays with the Brisbane Lions, is included and the management are said to be hopeful of bringing Setanta Ó hAilpín of Carlton (currently back in Cork on holiday) on board too.
Predictably, Kieran Donaghy is named in the preliminary squad, along with four other Kerry players — of whom only Paul Galvin has been involved before.
It’s understood that several players won’t be travelling to France at the weekend, among them Laois defender Darren Rooney, Cork forward Donncha O’Connor and Meath’s Kevin Reilly. Club commitments will keep them at home but not necessarily out of the final line-up.
Cork’s Alan Quirke is the only recognised goalkeeper in the group, but it’s reported that Meath defender Charles McCarthy has been tried out in the position in a number of training sessions.
Back in the squad after being absent for the last two series are Kieran McGeeney, Dermot Earley and Graham Geraghty. And it features a core of experienced players such as Dessie Dolan, Stephen McDonnell, Sean Cavanagh and Tom Kelly.
Notable absentees include Graham Canty, recovering after a knee operation, team-mate Anthony Lynch and Ciaran McManus, who have each distinguished themselves in past Test games.
There is no place either for Ciaran Whelan and Bryan Cullen of Dublin while Mayo trio Ciaran McDonald, David Heaney and Ronan McGarrity are also excluded.
Boylan will also name his captain next week.
A. O’Mahoney, M. Ó Sé, P. Galvin, K. Donaghy, B. Guiney (Kerry), T. Kennelly (Sydney Swans & Kerry); K. Reilly, A. Moyles, G. Geraghty, J. Sheridan, C. Mc Carthy (Meath); A. Quirke, G. Spillane, N. Murphy, D. O Connor (Cork); K. McGeeney, R. Clarke, S.Mc Donnell (Armagh); D. Rooney, T. Kelly, C. Begley (Brisbane Lions & Laois); S.M. Lockhart, P. Bradley (Derry); S. Ryan, A. Brogan (Dublin); K. Fitzgerald, J. Bergin (Galway); S. Cavanagh, S. O Neill (Tyrone); B. Coulter, M. Walsh (Down); A. Dillon, G. Brady (Mayo); P. Barden (Longford); D. Early (Kildare); J. Mc Carthy (Limerick); K. Lacey (Donegal); K. Slattery (Offaly); D. Dolan (Westmeath).