Inside football clubs there are many great friendships and at the GIANTS there is perhaps none more special than the one between Adam Kennedy and Adam Tomlinson.
As Kennedy gets set to play his 100th AFL game against Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday, Tomlinson has spoken about his great friend who he simply calls ‘Kenners’.
“I can remember the exact first moment we met,” Tomlinson recounts.
“It was at Princes Park for the under-18 Victoria Metro team, I was a bottom age player and Kenners was a year older.
“We were both included into the squad on the exact same night and they said ‘we’ve got a few newcomers’ and they read out a few names and I went ‘huh, his name is Adam and my name is Adam’ and we ended up doing a few leg swings together.
‘He doesn’t remember it but it the very first time we met each other was our very first Vic Metro session warming up together.”
Over the next two years the two Adams would play against and alongside each other before Kennedy would be selected by the GIANTS as a player who had previously been overlooked in a draft in late October 2011.
26 days later Tomlinson would join the GIANTS with pick nine in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft.
“It was great we were able to come up here together,” Tomlinson said.
“It wasn’t just ‘Kenners’ it was his whole family too, my mum and dad knew his parents really well so it was another familiar face for them and for me whenever they came up.
“All in all I was much more comfortable moving to an area that they were going to be in, it made it pretty easy.”
The relationship between Tomlinson and Kennedy has only gone from strength to strength.
GIANTS fans get an insight into their friendship in the video series A-Squared which began with an impromptu post-match interview following the GIANTS’ first interstate win against the Lions in round 14, 2014.
On screen they’re playful, competitive and constantly taking the mickey out of each other.
But off screen it’s different. While there’s still a healthy amount of banter, they lean on each other when the times are tough.
“He’s one of those friends you’ve got that when you’re a bit flat you call,” Tomlinson said.
“He’s definitely that person that takes you away from the football bubble even though he’s in it 24/7 because he knows exactly what it’s like, so he’s been really good for that reason.
“He’s got the greatest character where he can lift you when you’re a bit flat, he’s able to get you up and about.”
Kennedy’s caring, yet carefree, personality is why he’s one of the most well-liked players at the club.
When the speedy defender suffered a season-ending knee injury in round seven, 2017 co-captain Phil Davis and vice-captain Stephen Coniglio were nearly brought to tears during post-match interviews.
His recovery from that knee injury and consistent positive attitude around the club means his milestone is one that will be a special one.
“It’s great, I was flicking through a few of his highlights on Instagram and it’s his smile and the way he goes about it,” Tomlinson said.
“You just can’t ask for a player to go about his business in a better way. He’s had his ups and downs with his knee and a few other things but it’s awesome to see him get there.
“It’s going to be really special for him, he’s got a big family in Melbourne and for all of them to be there watching he’ll be absolutely loving it.”
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