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Player Review: No. 27 Ben Kennedy

Kennedy chose a great time to register the first goal of his career. Swinging onto that trusty left boot, Kennedy brought Collingwood within two straight kicks of leveling the scores in time on of the third quarter against Fremantle in round seven. Unfortunately the Magpies would only kick two more goals for the game. Kennedy chose a great time to register the first of his career. Swinging onto that trusty left boot, Kennedy brought Collingwood within two straight kicks of leveling the scores in time on of the third quarter against Fremantle in round seven. Unfortunately the Magpies would only kick two more goals for the game.
Ben Kennedy returns to the away team rooms at the Trevor Barker Beach Oval after winning 30 possessions in Collingwood's 60-point win over Sandringham in round 18 of the VFL. Photo: Shane Barrie.
During the off-season, collingwoodfc.com.au will publish a review on each player (in numerical order) that will analyse their 2013 season with highlights, statistics and a look to what is to come in 2014.

27. Ben Kennedy
Games
Senior:
12
VFL: 7
NAB Cup: 1

Goals
Senior:
9
VFL: 4
NAB Cup: 1

Key AFL Statistics (averages in brackets)
Disposals: 141 (11.8) Marks: 20 (1.7) Tackles: 20 (1.7) Inside 50s: 22 (1.8) Contested Possessions: 62 (5.2) Clearances: 16 (1.3) Score Assists: 4 (0.3)

Key VFL Statistics (averages in brackets)

Disposals: 171 (24.4) Marks: 27 (3.9) Tackles: 15 (2.1) Inside 50s: 26 (3.7) Contested Possessions: 66 (9.4) Clearances: 28 (4.0) Score Assists: 9 (1.3)

Recap the first 26 installments of collingwoodfc.com.au's post-season Player Reviews.
 
Overview:
A very promising beginning to life at the top level for the first-round draft selection that saw him play 12 senior games. Kennedy first caught the eye with a strong performance in an intra-club match at Victoria Park on 22 February that led to Development Manager Craig McRae telling collingwoodfc.com.au that the teenager “showed today why we drafted him. He was really powerful and strong. He trained well for this game and we saw his best today.” Although he got a taste of the action in the NAB Cup he was forced to wait until round six to make his senior debut. By that stage he had won 27 disposals in two separate VFL games and bagged three goals against Bendigo at Queen Elizabeth Oval. He endured an unsettling lead up to his debut, getting caught in peak hour traffic and running the last few kilometres to Etihad Stadium. Luckily for Kennedy, he was scheduled to start the match as the substitute. He gathered eight possessions when released onto the ground and held his place in the side for the next eight games. The highlights included 10 scoring shots in the space of two weeks against the Lions and the Demons, bagging three majors against Melbourne on the Queen’s Birthday. The effects of a long season began to tell as Kennedy played only three of the last nine games and was omitted ahead of the Elimination Final despite gathering 18 possessions against North Melbourne in round 23. Interestingly, he was involved as a substitute in six of his 12 games, playing predominantly as a small forward and taking the occasional turn in the midfield.

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Memorable Moment: Kennedy developed into a very handy avenue to goal midway through the season and chose a great time to register the first of his career. Swinging onto that trusty left boot, Kennedy brought Collingwood within two straight kicks of leveling the scores in time on of the third quarter against Fremantle in round seven. Unfortunately the Magpies would only kick two more goals for the game.

What happens next? It will be fascinating to watch how Kennedy is used in 2014. Drafted as an onballer, he was able to give the Magpies some bite and unpredictability inside 50 as regular crumbers Alan Didak and Andrew Krakouer battled for selection. Will the trend continue in his second season or will he press for selection in the centre square where his pace and evasiveness may add a point of difference to the Collingwood midfield?