Live

Highlights on Off The Ball

05:00 PM-12:00 AM

Highlights on Off The Ball
Football

"He had my back" | Kennelly on Ciaran McDonald and International Rules

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

16:11 21 Nov 2020

The presence of war metaphors in sporting rhetoric has long been employed to foster camaraderie in a team. 

Managers, players and, admittedly, writers too, often reference moments in sport as if they are from the battlefield.

Weekly, players are said to have 'gone to war' for each other, while midfielders battled 'in the trenches' and forwards blitzed defences, as war's unified imagery is used.

While those combative descriptions often steer into over-exaggeration in sport, at least in the context of the International Rules Series proceedings could – and often did – break out into full combat.

Playing for Ireland six times between 2001-2011, Tadhg Kennelly knows exactly the physical demands needed to play International Rules Football and the loyalties it could create.

Speaking on OTB Sports' The Bernard Brogan Podcast, the former Kerry and Sydney Swans footballer recalled the fight he found himself entangled in during the series at Dublin in 2006.

Impressing in the first game of the series, Kennelly soon found himself the target of extra physicality from his Australian opponents: "[Two of my Sydney Swans teammeates] Adam Schneider and Barry Hall, said: 'They've got your name on the board and they are coming for you, boy. There is a target on your head.'

"So I was ready to go once the game started and I didn't see this fella come from behind me, Andrew Embley from West Coast Eagles, and he's just flattened me, right into the back and I've gone down."

 

Under siege, Kennelly soon discovered that despite not knowing his Ireland teammates for long they still had his back.

"There's a bit of a shemozzle and Ciaran McDonald from Mayo – one of the best left-footers I've ever seen – was half-forward and he's coming in and jumping on top of fellas.

"And he had the long blonde hair and he comes out looking like a sheepdog, just a scraggy, old sheepdog covered in this blonde hair.

"He was the one who came in and backed me up, and from then on we've been very close. We connected and built a strong relationship over something that just happened on the football field and he had my back."

While Kennelly explained he played the International Rules Series every year to test himself alongside Ireland's best, he also added the importance of the friendships that it created.

"I used to love connecting back with the Irish boys more so because I didn't have the ability to do it you know. I built a strong relationship with STAR [Kieran Donaghy] through it. I connected a lot with the Kerry boys also.

"Some of the stories man, in as far as what we did and what we got up to, were unbelievable. It builds friendships, you know."

SuperValu – proud sponsors of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championships – see YouTube.com/SuperValuIreland for more details

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Aussie Rules Bernard Brogan Ciaran McDonald Dublin GAA International Rules Series Kerry GAA Mayo GAA Tadhg Kennelly The Bernard Brogan Podcast

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

05:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Up next

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Share

Live: Sunday Paper Review

Live: Sunday Paper Review

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

02:00 PM-04:30 PM

Share

LIVE Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

LIVE Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

04:30 PM-06:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on