AFL finals lure key to Kennedy re-signing

·2-min read

Belief that Sydney's rapid turnaround can deliver an earlier-than-expected return to the AFL's upper echelon helped co-captain Josh Kennedy decide to sign on for another year.

On Tuesday, the Swans announced Kennedy, 32, would extend his AFL career into a 15th season, signing a contract extension for 2022.

The Swans have been one of the stories of the season - beating among others Brisbane, Geelong and Richmond to thrust themselves squarely into the finals mix.

"That's the biggest motivating factor (behind signing) I think, just to try and work our way up the pointy end of the ladder and taste that success again," Kennedy said.

"But we've still got plenty of work to do, no doubt about that.

"We've shown throughout the course of the year that our best footy is capable to match it with anyone.

"But to be able to do that week in week out quarter after quarter, that's what the best sides do and I still think we've got a gap to make up there."

The Swans, who finished 15th in 2019 and then 16th in 2020, currently sit sixth - but Kennedy wasn't shocked by their 2021 turnaround.

"I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I certainly could feel it the last few years," Kennedy said.

"Although the win-loss record hadn't been in our favour the last couple of years in particular, we were certainly in a lot of games and showed the grit and the fight and just the extra little bit of per cent to get us over the line

"So it's good to see that we're winning more of those games than perhaps we lost last year."

Kennedy praised the improvement in second and third-year players like Ollie Florent, James Rowbottom and Chad Warner - and felt a taste of finals this year would help their young squad going forward.

"It'd be big ... there'd be a few that haven't (played finals) and to experience that, to feel that as a player - that's what footy's all about," he said.

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