Irish Swan inducted to Swans Hall of Fame
Thursday, March 19 2015 @ 07:40 am ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The Sydney Swans have elevated one player to Bloods Legend status and welcomed two new faces to the Hall of Fame at tonight’s annual Guernsey Presentation and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, presented by Volkswagen.
More than 650 guests attended the evening at Sydney’s The Star Event Centre.
Former Swans captain, coach, five-time best and fairest winner and the 1940 Brownlow medallist, J.Herbie Matthews, became the fifth player elevated to Bloods Legend status, joining Bob Pratt, Bob Skilton, Paul Kelly and Peter Bedford. He was among the inaugural inductees into the Swans Hall of Fame in 2009.
Two new inductees were welcomed into the Swans Hall of Fame, 1918 premiership captain Jim Caldwell along with 2005 premiership player Tadhg Kennelly.
Kennelly became the 60th inductee into the Swans Hall of Fame after a decorated career that spanned 10 years, including the 2005 premiership triumph.
Arriving at the Club in 1999 from Ireland, Kennelly was taken under the wing of Swans assistant coach George Stone to develop his AFL skills and by 2001, he was playing senior football.
Images of Kennelly’s jig on the Grand Final podium in 2005 will be long remembered by Swans fans.
In 2008 he returned to Ireland to successfully pursue his dream of winning an All-Ireland medal with County Kerry. After becoming the first player to claim an AFL premiership and All-Ireland medal, he returned to the Swans for the 2010 season before retiring in 2011 having notched up 197 matches.
The second inductee of the evening was brilliant centreman and wingman Jim Caldwell, who joined South Melbourne in 1909 and would have become a premiership player in his first season had he not been suspended for striking following an incident in the preliminary final.
During his eleven seasons in the red and white, he became one of the most celebrated players in the game, known for his skill, pace and judgement. In 1918 he was appointed captain of the Club and led the team to a narrow Grand Final victory over Collingwood that season.
Three new items were also added to the Swans Heritage List:
- Ron Clegg’s individual performance in the 1951 match against Fitzroy at Brunswick Street Oval, where he claimed 50 possessions and 32 marks.
- ‘The True Believers’ - a group comprising of John Gerahty, Craig Kimberley, Basil Sellers, Peter Weinert and Michael Willesee credited with saving the Club from the brink of collapse in 1992.
- 2005 Premiership, which broke a 72-year drought for the Club. This year the Club will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the 2005 flag.
Eight new recruits and their families were formally welcomed to the Club, with the players each receiving their first Swans guernsey from former greats Tony Morwood and Stuart Maxfield.
The Sydney Swans 2015 campaign kicks off on April 4 against Essendon at ANZ Stadium at 4.35pm.