IRELAND’S Tadhg Kennelly has already started some good-natured mind games ahead of the International Rules opener on Saturday.
He texted his Swans team-mate and Australian captain – Adam Goodes – early last week cheekily boasting that he can’t wait to embarrass the Aussies in front of 80,000 Irish fans.
Goodes took all in his stride – especially since his side are facing up to five players with AFL experience in the Irish squad – Tadhg Kennelly, Tommy Walsh, Marty Clarke, Colm Begley and Brendan Murphy.
“There’s a little bit of banter,” he smiled. “Kennelly reckons he can’t wait to embarrass us in front of 80,000 Irish supporters.”
Goodes trained with the round ball for the first time Saturday, but points to the soccer World Cup as a reason why the Aussies will adapt to the ball quicker than people think.
He added: “The World Cup was on this year and in every footy club, the boys were playing soccer. A lot of us grew up playing soccer at school. For the boys who find it a bit strange, I’m sure after a few training sessions they’ll be ready.”
The captain, who represented Australia in the 2001 series, will be supported by three vice captains – Collingwood’s Dane Swan, Carlton’s Kade Simpson and the Western Bulldogs’ Matthew Boyd.
“I’m really honoured by the position, to represent these young blokes because it is a huge thing,” he said .
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