Sydney Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy is ready to pursue another successful season in the red and white and is already leading from the front in 2013.
In the space of just a few months, the 24-year-old has re-committed to the Swans for four more years, has been elevated to the club’s leadership group and has produced a number of dominant midfield performances throughout the NAB Cup.
Speaking to SwansTV from during the week, the midfielder said he was committed to the Swans for the long haul after signing on until the end of the 2017 season.
“The Swans fans are stuck with me for another five years at least and hopefully we can continue with the success that we’ve had so far,” Kennedy said.
“The decision (to re-sign) was pretty easy.
“I wanted to try and get the deal done as soon as possible and get it out of the way and obviously wanted to stay at Sydney, a club that gave me that opportunity three years ago, and I wanted to continue to repay the faith that they showed in me.”
About to embark on his fourth season in Sydney, Kennedy will also join co-captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack, as well as Adam Goodes, Ted Richards, Rhyce Shaw, Nick Smith, Jude Bolton and Ryan O’Keefe in the Sydney Swans leadership group.
The Swans’ number 12 said mentoring younger players was something he wanted to add to his game this season.
“I obviously feel really proud to be part of the Swans’ leadership group,” Kennedy said.
“I want to try and help everyone else improve and help the young guys and really think about where this club wants to be in the future.
“It’s something that (the club) holds in really high esteem and something that I do as well.
“It’s a big responsibility and I understand that, but I’m ready and willing to take it on.”
With the opening round just eight days away, Kennedy said he was also focused on enhancing his own game in the 2013 season, adding that there were a number of areas he believed could improve.
“I think I’ve got a lot of improvement left in me,” he said.
“I’m 24 years old, so I think I just want to improve every aspect of my game and try a few different positions on the ground.
“I want to work on my marking and maybe a few more uncontested possessions and just working on my leadership skills as well around the team.”
Looking ahead to next Saturday afternoon’s derby, the inaugural Brett Kirk medallist said he was expecting a tougher and battle-hardened GWS side to take the field in round one.
“I’m expecting a really competitive game,” he said.
“They showed in the NAB Cup that they’d really improved and they have gotten a little big strong, a little bit bigger, and a little bit fitter, and I think it’s going to be a really, really competitive game.”