Ando’s Weekly Banter by Matthew Anderson
The Champion West Coast forward Josh Kennedy is probably one the most outstanding forwards in the game. A dual Coleman medal winner, Leading goal kicker at West Coast Eagles an incredible 7 times. 3 time all Australian and Premiership player which is simply an amazing record of achievements in a stellar career. He has also to date kicked a total of 645 career goals in his career spanning 16 years.
Last Sunday against the Adelaide Crows again Kennedy put on a masterclass performance. He was simply too strong, too fast and too smart for his opponent and finished the game with three goals.
Josh Darling had and incredible 10 minute period in the second quarter when he kicked 5 goals and was the leading goal scorer for the day with 5.2. Three of the goals that Darling kicked were as a direct result of Kennedy skill off the ball through out maneuvering, and holding off not only his direct opponent but Darling’s as well.
Kennedy is not a player who will win a Brownlow medal as full forwards rarely win the medal and when you are in a star studded forward line such as the West Coast Eagles the chance is even further reduced as the votes will get shared amongst the forwards. Kennedy’s value to the forward line is also shown through what occurred on Sunday with the Crows on several occasion when the ball was coming into the West Coast forward 50 having 3 defenders on him at any one time.
This obviously some what reduces Kennedy impact on the game by physically being able to get his hands on the ball and contribute that way but it does allow Darling, Allen and Waterman far more freedom and room to operate in forward line. They did so very effectively with the trio kicking 11 goals between them on the day.
The very fact that Kennedy can draw multiple opponents for any marking contest in the forward 50 shows how much other clubs highly rate and respect his talent as when you have a forward line as potent as West Coast does that you use 2 defenders on Kennedy and let another champion forward be un guarded is a huge compliment to his playing ability.
Powerful, high marking forwards that put on a show regularly as All Australian Josh Kennedy did on the weekend is one of the major reasons West Coast get such good crowd numbers to their matches every week to see their Star in action.
He may well be getting on in years but the way he played on Sunday both as an individual performance and an unselfish team player you would expect this true Champion of the game to play on for several years to come.