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Confidence levels rising as quiet achiever Kennedy finds his voice

When Will Kennedy got together with his fellow Sharks spine members during the off-season to talk about where they could be better individually in 2024, one message came through loud and clear.

The gun No.1 had humility and dedication in spades and they loved playing alongside him, but a dash of self-belief and arrogance wouldn’t go astray.

“We sat down as a spine and spoke about what we want out of each other and Nicho spoke to me about being more confident and believing in my ability and I’ve really taken it on board,” Kennedy told

“I just want to keep bringing that confidence into my game as I play, getting the ball in my hands more and taking the game on.

“It's a good confidence booster to know that my players believe in me. I love that and I give it back to the boys as well and let Brails, Trick (Trindall) and Nicho know how much I love playing beside them too.

Kennedy carves through

“I certainly wasn’t the loudest kid growing up and I don't do much media either. I just love playing footy and love playing with my mates.

“But when I get on the field I know I have a job to do and I know I need to flick a switch a little bit to bring that aggression on the field.

“I am more of a relaxed, chilled bloke but I know it’s in me to go and take a game on and really step up in my role."

Having played together in all of the Sharks’ matches so far this year, the four are starting to form a bond they hope can lead the club into the finals for a third straight season and beyond.

The Sharks halves click into gear

Since winning their maiden premiership in 2016, the Sharks have missed the September action just once, but a string of heartbreaking finals losses have cut deep in the Shire.

With three wins from four to start 2024 the Sharks have again stamped themselves as a legitimate contender but hooker Blayke Brailey said they cannot afford to underestimate Souths this weekend, even if they’re sitting on the bottom of the ladder.

“I know Souths haven’t started off the season the way they wanted to but I’m they could definitely turn things around pretty quickly,” Brailey said ahead of Saturday’s match.

“So you can’t underestimate them, they’ve got a star-studded side with Origin and international players, so they’ve got threat all around the park and we’ll be putting our best foot forward, that’s for sure.

“I think we have been (flying under the radar) but we want to be in that position because we would prefer to be in conversations at the end of the year, not the start and everyone’s here just doing their job."

Brailey: We'll put our best foot forward

The three-game suspension handed to Latrell Mitchell means Kennedy will be pitted against debutant Jye Gray on Saturday night, and he'll be giving the rookie no less respect than he would the Rabbitohs superstar.

“I haven't come up against Jye but I've heard a lot about him like he’s a fast, nippy kind of fella,” Kennedy said.

“They're still a very good side and I just think whoever turns up on the day is going to do a good job.

“We're just treating every game as just as important as the next and if we all do our jobs as individuals and come together as a team, it should work out for us.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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