TWO years ago after Kandy Kennedy dislocated her knee cap while playing for the Indigenous All Stars, she admits quitting rugby league crossed her mind.
But now as Kennedy prepares to make her return match in an Indigenous All Stars jumper, it is clear her passion for the sport burns deep.
“I’m so excited, I can’t wait,” Kennedy said before going into camp on Sunday.
“I’m just excited to be back again. To think it was two years ago when it happened, that time has just gone so quick.
“I did have that moment when I thought ‘I don’t ever want to play football again’ but I’ve had just such good support – pretty much the Bathurst community helped me push through it.
“It’s all gone, it’s in the past. I’m just glad I am able to have another crack at it. Fingers crossed, touch wood I don’t get injured,” she added with a nervous laugh.
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Kennedy made her Indigenous All Stars debut in 2013 on the wing and in 2014 got the nod again. After plenty of hard work – plus a positional switch to the second row – she got another shot in 2017.
While Kennedy’s side beat the Women’s World All Stars 14-4 that year, she was stretchered off the field early in the contest.
The injury setback was significant, but with a strong support network behind her Kennedy not only recovered, but has taken her game to a new level.
Last season she played in the inaugural WNRL grand final for the Sydney Roosters and come this Friday night Kennedy will line up against Maori Ferns. It will be a challenge, but one she’s keen to embrace.
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“I am happy to be where I am now, so I am just going to take every opportunity I can this year. I will give it my everything,” she said.
“I think the games I played for the Roosters, that gave me a bit of confidence.
“It’s definitely a great experience, you learn a lot once you go into camp. You also get to know a lot of the other Indigenous girls and where they come from … we all get a chance to speak about our heritage.”
Kennedy thanked Believe BootCamp for helping her prepare for the match.