Tadhg Kennelly
Tadhg Kennelly

Sydney premiership player Tadhg Kennelly said it is time to give the league-leading Swans the credit they deserve.

The former Swan and 2005 premiership player knows how hard it is for an AFL team outside of football's home state Victoria to get recognition, but the Irishman expects people to sit up and take note of just how well the Sydney side has performed this season.

"They're cementing themselves in the top four," Kennelly said.

"Who wants to come up to Sydney and play them in a final?"

Kennelly was full of praise for the brand of football Sydney have been playing under one-time assistant and now senior coach John Longmire.

"The boys have been superb," he said.

"I think John Longmire has got them playing a lot more outside football. Everyone, when they come up against the Swans, think they've got to beat them inside, hard, contested footy. But we've caught a lot of teams."

The Swans top the AFL ladder heading into Round 16 this weekend, although Kennelly reckons they would prefer not to carry the added burden of leading the league ahead of a trip west to take on the second-placed West Coast.

"I don't think they'd be too happy going top of the ladder and drawing attention to themselves," Kennelly said.

"They're very Swans-like in almost trying to get under the radar and keep it quiet."

Speaking on his old side's counterparts, Greater Western Sydney, Kennelly said he was assured code convert Israel Folau would stay with the club despite rumours circulating he would return to the NRL next year.

"I'm certain he won't (go back to rugby league), just on my own feeling of being a professional athlete and that you want to prove to people that it wasn't just a marketing tool," Kennelly said.


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