Former Kerry footballer and Aussie Rules star Tadhg Kennelly added his voice to the many tributes paid to Jim Stynes.

The former Dublin minor star was a huge help to Kennelly when he made the move from gaelic games to Aussie Rules football.

Now retired and working as an ambassador for the Australian sport, Kennelly has no doubts about the impact Stynes made on his life.

Kennelly said: “I wouldn’t be here now in Australia only for Jim Stynes, it’s that plain and simple.

“I would not have played one game of AFL football if it wasn’t for Jim Stynes. It wasn’t just Irish blokes he helped but international blokes too because he was the first bloke with a different background, different culture and heritage to come out and play it successfully.

“If he came out and wasn’t as successful, clubs might not have bought into it but because he came out and killed it with the impact he made, people were all over it.

“When I first came out I didn’t know a whole lot about him. I knew who Jim Stynes was in the AFL but I was given his book when I got here and as soon as I read that, from then on I was gob-smacked by him.

“His book at that point was all footy-orientated and he was starting off the Reach stuff, this was in 1999.  From then on I was just in awe of him.

“I would be constantly picking up the phone to him. I would ring him up and ask him for advice on a contract negotiation, stuff like that.”

Tadgh KennellyGoogle images