The Sydney Swans Irish contingent is growing, with Tanya Kennedy joining the club’s AFLW list ahead of the upcoming 2023 season.

Kennedy comes into the squad following loss of Maddy Collier and Hayley Bullas who were both ruled out of the season with ACL injuries.

The 30-year-old from Donegal, Ireland, grew up watching and playing Gaelic football before moving to Australia in 2012.

Executive GM of Football – AFLW, Kate Mahony, is excited to welcome the promising defender to the red and white.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tanya to the Bloods family,” says Mahony.

“Tanya first caught the eye of our Teams Defence Coach, and fellow Irishman, Colin O’Riordan playing Gaelic football in Sydney. An impressive performance in a handful of off-season AFLW games proved she has what it takes to play at the elite level.

“Tanya’s athleticism is second to none. She is a passionate competitor and has proven to possess a hard-work ethic. We look forward to seeing her develop in the red and white.”


After playing with Gaelic football club Clanna Gael Sydney, Kennedy tried her hand at Aussie rules, joining the Inner West Magpies for a season.

It wasn’t long before she excelled in the sport, and joined the Sydney Swans as a train on player for season 8.

“I am so excited to have been given this opportunity, and I’m going to take it with both hands,” says Kennedy.

“My very first AFL match was a Swans game at the SCG, and I immediately fell in love with this club. Never did I think I would be playing for them though, it’s surreal.

“It’s nice to see other Irish girls around the club too, and Colin (O’Riordan), it feels like a home away from home.”

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