10/23/2009 10:45 AM
For Tadhg Kennelly, the fairytale was complete. Came home from Australia after a successful Aussie Rules career, won an All-Ireland Football medal and honored his father and upheld a proud family tradition in the annals of Kerry football history.Mission accomplished, as George W. Bush might say.
To top things off, a day or two after bringing Sam Maguire home, Kennelly decided that the allure of green and gold was enough to make him want to stay and not return to the pro game in Australia.
"I am committing (to Kerry). I had a great time at Sydney. I haven't really thought about it at the moment, but I will sit down and have a good think about it,” said the 28-year-old after the win.
"My head is truly, truly set on Kerry. And my heart. That's probably the main thing that has come out here."
Story over, sunset appears, happy days all round.Until the autobiography controversy that is, and the quote from Kennelly to his ghost writer that his hit on Cork’s Nicholas Murphy was premeditated.
“My theory was that I really wanted to set the tone for our side,” writes Kennelly, or his ghost writer. “We wanted Cork to know that we were a totally different animal to the one they’d beaten three months earlier.“As we got to our positions, I looked across at Paul Galvin, who nodded, and then positioned myself on the line ready to race in when the referee put the ball in the air.
“My eyes were almost rolling around in the back of my head. I was like a raging bull. I timed it right and caught him perfectly on the chin.
“The message was cop that. It’s different this time, boys.”
Since this revelation, Kennelly has come out and said that his words were misinterpreted by his ghost writer and he has categorically denied going out to intentionally hurt the Cork player.
In the same reports he added that his “head is fried” from the quandary of whether he will stay with Kerry or not, an issue everyone thought he put to bed after the All-Ireland Final.
It would now seem that his own book is forcing him to rethink his future.Whether Kennelly meant to hurt the player is almost irrelevant, as Tadhg is now a marked man in the GAA world.
The red mist has already descended on the Cork camp and you can be sure there will be belts galore the next time the two will meet, even if Kennelly is on the other side of the world.
The All Ireland draw made last might means that if Kerry overcome Tipperary in the frist round of the Munster Championship they will play Cork in the semi final.
Can you imagine the reception Kennelly will get from evey Cork player? The goodwill and general admiration for his move back home may have evaporated after one paragraph in a book.
If he goes, the feel good story will be somehat tarnished by the, at best, ill-advised description of the opening minutes of the All Ireland.
If he stays, how many lads will have eyes rolling around in the back of their head for him at the start of every game?
The Kerry County Board has assured Kennelly that his coaching job is safe despite the allegations in the book, but will Kennelly decide that two more years and a coaching job with the Swans is a better option?