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Local derby showdown

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

WITH a name like Bobby Kennedy, a future in politics as a Senator seems the most natural career choice for the 18 year-old.

But it is on the football field, not the senate floor that Kennedy has been dazzling locals with his speed and skills around the ruck.

But in a move similar to swapping from the Liberal Party to Labor, Kennedy at the start of this year left Coffs Harbour, his junior club, to play first grade for their sworn enemy Sawtell.

Tomorrow Kennedy faces his old side for the first time and he can't wait for the battle to begin.

"I'm expecting to cop a bit from the crowd, but I just want to prove to them that I can play," he said.

"I used to have friends at both the Comets and Sawtell, but since I went to Sawtell the Comets people don't really talk to me that much.

"There is a grudge between the sides and I'm sure it will be there tomorrow, but if they want to come and get me, they can."

Kennedy is returning to the line-up tomorrow after missing last week's clash with Port Macquarie due to a shoulder injury.

"I've broken my collarbone before and I just landed on it wrong in a tackle against Nambucca Heads," he explained.

"The week off was more precautionary than anything."

In a stroke of genius by Sawtell coach Craig Wallace, Kennedy was thrown into hooker when he broke into the first grade side, a position that he had never played before in his junior career.

"I played a lot as one of the halves in juniors, but I love being hooker.

"I'm right in the middle of the game and up front I get a great view of what's happening."

The young hooker even had a kind word about his coach despite being thrust into the no. 9 jersey.

"Before the game he (Wallace) is so good," Kennedy said.

"He just tells me to go out there and back my ability and use my skill."

Kennedy doesn't bear any grudges towards his junior club but admits that he was disappointed with the lack of game time he received last year when he was a member of the Comets Under 18s team.

"I wanted to play football and the Comets wouldn't give me what I wanted.

"I've gone over to Sawtell and I've been treated well and given an opportunity to play in first grade.

"This Sunday is no different for me really because I'm going out there every week to prove that I can play.

"I'm looking to go a bit further than Group 2."

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