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Player Review: No. 7 Ben Kennedy

Watch the best of Ben Kennedy's performance against Gold Coast in round 16, when he won 18 disposals and kicked two goals. Watch the best of Ben Kennedy's performance against Gold Coast in round 16, when he won 18 disposals and kicked two goals.
Ben Kennedy sends Collingwood forward during its loss to Brisbane in round 21.
During the off-season, collingwoodfc.com.au will publish a review on each player (in numerical order) that will analyse their 2014 season with highlights, statistics and a look to what is to come in 2015.

7. Ben Kennedy
Games
Senior:
8
VFL: 0
NAB Challenge: 12

Goals
Senior:
4
VFL: 0
NAB Challenge: 11

Key AFL Statistics (averages in brackets)
Disposals: 98 (12.3) Marks: 11 (1.4) Tackles: 15 (1.9) Inside 50s: 16 (2.0) Contested Possessions: 45 (5.6) Clearances: 15 (1.9) Score Assists: 3 (0.4)

Key VFL Statistics (averages in brackets)

Disposals: 322 (26.8) Marks: 48 (4.0) Tackles: 48 (4.0) Inside 50s: 58 (4.8) Contested Possessions: 148 (12.3) Clearances: 79 (6.6) Score Assists: 17 (1.4)

Overview

A strong NAB Challenge campaign meant the diminutive South Australian began his second season in the senior side when the ball was bounced against Fremantle in round one.

Unfortunately he would only appear once more in the 14 weeks that followed.

Such was the story of an at times challenging start to the 2014 campaign for the 19th selection in the 2012 National Draft.

Although Kennedy presented well during his various stints in the VFL, he was unable to lock down a place in the senior side.

At his best, Kennedy was one of Collingwood’s best performers at VFL level.

He started the year with 28 disposals, five clearances and two goals against North Ballarat at Victoria Park and won 33 touches and seven clearances against Essendon at Windy Hill a month later.

In his next six VFL matches, Kennedy averaged 31.16 disposals and never returned less than 27.

Regularly used as the senior side’s substitute, Kennedy was at his best interstate, kicking two goals from 18 disposals against Gold Coast and slotting a further two from 21 against West Coast a month later.

He dipped out of the senior line up after round 21, finishing the season with 20 disposals and five inside 50s in the VFL team’s Elimination Final loss to Sandringham at Victoria Park.

To consider

Kennedy was involved as Collingwood’s substitute (be it starting or finishing the game in a coloured vest) in five of his eight senior games. In 2012, he was the substitute in six of his 12 outings.

He said it

They said it

Memorable Moment
The loss to the Suns in round 16 will never be thrown on replay by any self-respecting Collingwood supporter. But there’s a chance Kennedy will remember it fondly, for it was a night in which he demonstrated much of what he’s capable of. He kicked two crucial late goals to give his team a glimmer of hope, as well as collecting 18 disposals.

What happens next?
With two full years behind him, Kennedy will embark on his third pre-season full of ambition to make a place in the senior line up his own in 2015. He has already demonstrated that his best is good enough, so where he fits into the mix will be interesting. Will it be in the midfield or as a small forward? His role in the NAB Challenge will reveal plenty.