AFTER THE Round 6 win against the Western Bulldogs, David Teague said the Club had no choice but to select Matthew Kennedy in the side.
As the Senior Coach put it, his reserves form was simply too good to ignore.
Kennedy rewarded the faith shown in him by the match committee with an impressive return to action: and it was a return to his natural position which saw him get it done.
Despite kicking 11 goals in the final eight games of last year as a forward, Kennedy was trusted with a heavy midfield load on Sunday night.
The 23-year-old got his job done at Metricon Stadium, collecting 20 disposals and 11 contested possessions as a pure inside midfielder.
“I’m working on my inside craft at the minute, as well as my tank to help me transition better from stoppage,” Kennedy said on SEN Breakfast.
“I know our fans have been tuning in and watching, I really hope they got some joy out of that game. We want to put smiles on their faces.”— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) July 12, 2020
Wherever you are, that one was for you. ?#AllOfUs #AFLBluesDogs
“[My growth] is identifying a spot and knowing one role to lock down. Last year, we had a fair few injuries up forward and I saw myself getting a spot there.
“I’ve really worked on my fitness. Now it’s turning back to that midfield role for me, trying to help ‘Crippa’ and getting another big body in there.”
Kennedy had the third most centre bounce attendances of any Blue last night, stepping up with fellow former Giant Will Setterfield.
An update on this...— Nic Negrepontis (@NicNegrepontis) July 12, 2020
Curnow 24/29 centre bounce attendances tonight
Murphy 6/29 (5 in 2nd half)
Martin and Cuningham clearly preferred forward after big midfield stints. Kennedy's filling their rotations + Setterfield up. https://t.co/ptxH8Wkhpm
However, it was another former Greater Western Sydney player and assistant coach which Kennedy credited as a major influence on his 2020 prospects.
“Having Luke Power come into the Club has helped my confidence and my ability to go back inside,” he said.
“We don’t want to be relying on one player the whole time. We want to have multiple blokes performing.
“I can see myself trying to lock down a spot in that midfield hopefully for the next few years.”