While showing signs of his potential in 19 top grade appearances prior to this season, many would agree young Sharks fullback Will Kennedy has taken his game to new levels in 2021.
The Sharks leading try scorer with eight four-pointers, added to six try assists from 11 matches played, Kennedy has been a standout for the Cronulla side so far this season.
That being the case it would come as no surprise that Kennedy has been offered and accepted a two-year contract extension, one that will see the exciting Sharks number one remain in Cronulla colours at least until the end of the 2023 season.
“It’s good to stay, I’ve been here a long time and I love the club,” Kennedy said. “It started here for me at SG Ball, I’m enjoying the club and enjoying my footy here.”
Current coach Josh Hannay has sung Kennedy’s praises in media he has conducted since assuming the top job, referencing the hard work he had put in, and on a day where the club was to also announce the re-signing of Toby Rudolf, has no doubt there is further upside in both players.
“The retention of both Will Kennedy and Toby Rudolph is fantastic news for the club,” Hannay said. “Both players have been standouts this year for us and their performances are a reflection of the work and dedication they put in over the pre-season and continue to do so day in day out.
“Both are a great example of two young men getting the best out of themselves and I have no doubt the best as yet to come for Will and Toby, with their commitment to the club showing their faith and belief in the direction that the club is heading,” he added.
Originally from Bathurst, Kenndey came to the Shire where he turned out for the local Cronulla Caringbah club.
From there his talents were recognised by recruitment staff, he was added to the Sharks junior representative program and the under-18 SG Ball team and has been on a journey with the Cronulla club ever since, one which saw him debut in the NRL in round six of the 2019 NRL season.
He would play 17 of 21 matches in the top grade in 2020, before cementing his position at the back during this current season, playing all 11 games so far.
Kennedy’s re-singing comes during the NRL’s Indigenous Round, one in which the Sharks will play the Gold Coast Titans wearing specially designed Indigenous jerseys.
“It’s a special round for me, my family and my culture,” Kennedy added.