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Daring To Dream

Daring To Dream: Adam Kennedy Milestone man Adam Kennedy speaks to GIANTS TV ahead of his 50th game against Geelong this weekend.
I spoke to a few clubs and obviously as a kid wanting to play AFL you sort of dare to dream and unfortunately it didn’t happen for me that year so I was fairly gutted I must admit.
Adam Kennedy

At 18, Adam Kennedy’s AFL dream was drifting further away. He’d spoken to several AFL clubs but the Western Jets midfielder had been overlooked in both the 2010 National and Rookie drafts.

“Getting overlooked in that draft when I was an 18-year-old, I was pretty disappointed,” Kennedy said. “I’d sort of had given myself a chance and other people told me I might be a 50-50 chance of maybe getting rookied. 

“I spoke to a few clubs and obviously as a kid wanting to play AFL you sort of dare to dream and unfortunately it didn’t happen for me that year so I was fairly gutted I must admit.”

But 12 months later, Kennedy’s disappointment turned to elation in his living room in Melton as he sat with his parents Tony and Kaye and was told he would be pre-listed to join the GIANTS.

“It was SOS (List Manager Stephen Silvagni), Lambo (Welfare Manager Craig Lambert) and Paul (Brodie, talent scout) who came over to my house back home and sat Mum, Dad and I down,” Kennedy said.

“They didn’t really talk a lot about football, they just talked about the living and what not up in Sydney so I got a bit suss about it. And then they said, yeah we’re going to take you, so I was just absolutely rapt.

“If you ask Craig Lambert, he always says this story and he reckons we all teared up but that’s a lie, I didn’t tear up, but I was very happy. 

“Dad was stoked, he loves his footy just as much as me so he was stoked and I think Mum was a little disappointed, she misses me a little bit but they visit a lot so it’s good they can get up here.”

Three years later and Kennedy will become the seventh player to reach 50 games for the club this weekend when the GIANTS take on Geelong at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.

Kennedy burst onto the AFL scene, making his debut in the GIANTS’ first-ever match against the Swans in Round 1, 2012. He finished the night as the club’s leading possession winner with 28 touches in his first game.

“I feel I was very fortunate to play that first game, with all the high draft picks around me I didn’t think I’d play a game that early so to get a game I was so grateful,” he said.

“I got that many messages from all my family and friends from back home just congratulating me so that was an amazing week to make my debut and also have a bit of an impact so it’s one of my best footy memories.”

After playing 15 games in his first season and 19 in his second, Kennedy has gone from draft reject to an integral member of the GIANTS defence, stepping up in 2014 to average 16 possessions, almost five marks and two tackles a game.

The youngest of three boys from Melton, west of Melbourne, the former Western Jets captain is considered a natural leader by many at the club.

“One of the best things about football, on and off the field, it’s sort of made me a better person and helped me develop as a person,” Kennedy said.

“On the field I’m trying, it’s not natural to me, but I’m trying to become more of a leader and talk a bit more and that’s something I’m working on with a few of the coaches. 

“And even off the field, being able to manage my own ways and live life by myself, with a little bit of help from my mum obviously.”

Kennedy - who recently turned 22 - is loving life in his new state, living with Matt Buntine, Nick Haynes and Tim Golds in Sydney’s inner west.

He said he’s excited to celebrate his 50-game milestone against the Cats, but is setting his sights beyond just this season.

“I’m absolutely stoked to get to 50 games,” Kennedy said.

“I feel very grateful to play this amount of games so early in my career and I feel like I owe the coaches and hopefully I can repay them with good football for the rest of this year and next year and onwards.

“I feel like the GIANTS are going in the right direction and I just can’t wait for the future and hopefully the success that awaits us.”

Another dream of Kennedy’s was realised last month when he interviewed his idol, former wrestler and movie star The Rock. The video of Kennedy and fellow Rock fan Adam Treloar hearing the news and then interviewing their hero was an internet sensation with the pair even getting attention from the man himself.

“I’ve been a bit amazed by the popularity of it, I’ve had people come up and say ‘you’re the guy that interviewed The Rock’,” he said.

“It’s been a bit of fun and everyone, especially from back home said it went really well.

“I had one opportunity and obviously it went alright so I’m rapt with that.”