Galvin: Kennelly loss a major blow

Opel GPA Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin feels that Tadhg Kennelly's decision to return to Aussie Rules is a major blow to Kerry's chances of capturing their 37th All-Ireland SFC title next year.

Opel GPA Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin feels that Tadhg Kennelly's decision to return to Aussie Rules is a major blow to Kerry's chances of capturing their 37th All-Ireland SFC title next year.

Kennelly communicated with Kerry County Board officials last night, informing them of his decision to return to Australia where it is believed he will make a comeback as a player-coach with the Sydney Swans, although an offer from St Kilda is also believed to be on the table.

Galvin reckons that Kennelly was the lynchpin in the Kingdom's drive for back-to-back honours this year.

"He was a massive asset to have and a big addition to the squad," he said.

"He would be a big addition to any team - he's just that kind of guy. He brings an awful lot to the set-up even off the field and brings an awful lot to any team or any group.

"Tadhg is a great guy and we are lucky he came back last year."

And Galvin says that he did not envy Kennelly for having to make the decision whether to stay in Ireland or make a swift return to Aussie Rules.

"We would have been hopeful that he would stay. I think there is an awful lot more for him to achieve here.

"He probably has a lot more to do and it would be great to have him here as part of it."

Meanwhile, Galvin and his Kerry team-mates are also coming to terms with the loss of Tommy Walsh to Aussie Rules.

However, there are no sour grapes from Walsh's Kingdom colleagues over his decision to switch codes.

"Tommy will be a big loss to us. He is a great guy and a big blow to us, but you have to wish the guy the best of luck."

And Galvin feels that the towering Kerins O'Rahilly's forward has a major chance of making a huge impact in the oval ball code.

"He has a huge chance of making it down there, he is just a freak of an athlete and he is a really special raw talent.

"I'm sure the lads will mould him into something special down there too."

Galvin believes that there would be no better send-off for Walsh than a victory with his club in tomorrow's Munster SFC quarter-final tie against Clonakilty.

"It's probably Tommy’s last game for a while with Kerins O’Rahilly's and it would be great to see them go on and win," he added.

"We all wish Tommy all the best Down Under and I'm sure that he will make a huge success of his career down there."

And looking ahead to the 2010 campaign as defending All-Ireland and National League champions, Galvin knows his side will have a big target on their backs.

"2010 begins now - you have to get your head around it straight away," he said.

"It will be difficult, every year is difficult and be it league or championship every game is a test.

"And while I wouldn't be thinking of All-Irelandss right now, you have to think about getting your body right and what you are going to do for the New Year."

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