Josh Kennedy - AFL

Partner’s name: Ana
Child’s name: Emilio (3)
Charity of choice: Starlight Foundation

Josh Kennedy has carved out a career as one of the great players of modern day AFL. With his father and grandfather both AFL champions with the Hawthorn club, Josh’s future was set from an early age, as he debuted for the Hawks in 2008. But it was his move to the Sydney Swans in 2010 which saw his career really take off. Josh has played more than 200 games for the Swans, and was an integral member of the team’s 2012 premiership victory against Hawthorn. He is a three time Bob Skilton medallist as the Swans best and fairest player, for his amazing midfield work rate, while also being named a three time AFL All Australian player. Josh is now one of the Swans’ leaders, named as captain last season. Josh is now a father to son Emilio, who may well grow up to become the fourth generation of Kennedy’s playing AFL football. For now, Josh is just as busy off the field chasing after his son. “Emilio is incredibly active so we play a lot of sports and are constantly doing activities,” Josh says. “As he continues to grow and develop this just keeps getting better and more fun to do together … but my favourite thing we do together at this stage is simply a good old fashioned wrestle. Yeah, my life has changed a lot. It’s difficult to explain how, as the more he does the more it changes.” Ana then went onto say “Josh’s best asset is the example he sets. Josh really understands Emilio and his world and takes time to play, to teach and to guide him. He is a very hands on dad and will always spend time with Emilio.”

How hard is it spending time away from Emilio during the season? The reality is during the week we have a lot more time at home than most other working parents, our hours are not your typical 9 to 5, so overall it’s not too bad to be honest. We may be away for one or two nights a fortnight which, when compared to other fathers who work and travel, is pretty good. - Josh

How often to you talk to him when you are away? Perhaps before he goes to bed and then before we’re about to leave for the game. He gives me strict orders to make sure the Swannies win and I kick lots of goals! - Josh

How much of an inspiration is Emilio? It’s tough because, on one hand he brings a lot more perspective to the week-to-week emotional roller coaster that is professional sport, which can take a lot of pressure off. On the other hand, I want to be as good as I can possibly be so he can be proud. For any dad, to be able to support your family financially and your children’s future is a big driving force. - Josh

Is there a memorable moment with Emilio? Too many! To relate one to my sporting life, it would be when he ran out with the team for my 200th game. He didn’t wait for me … he just charged out and lead the team through the banner, looking very determined. That 30 seconds showed a lot of his personality! - Josh

Does he take an interest in your career? He loves the Swannies, he knows the club song, although I’m not sure how, and he loves coming to the footy club. He walks around the change rooms like he’s played 200 games! - Josh

Is there a favourite place you like to take him? Definitely the beach. He loves the water and we are very lucky to live near so many great beaches in Sydney. Plus, he’s exhausted by the time we get home, which is also a positive. - Josh

Favourite family holiday? We went to Medellin in Columbia, where Ana is from and all her family live. It’s always a great experience and I love seeing her and Emilio in that environment. In addition for me, there’s so many amazing things to do and places to go that I never would have seen if not for Ana. - Josh

What makes Josh such a great father? Josh is a really good example first and foremost and kids learn by example. He is a really good role model for Emilio and has a great balance of being a strong dad as well as playing and being silly and having fun! - Ana

How hard is it when he has to be away from home? It’s not that hard really as we were together for five years before Emilio, so I have always been used to it. Plus, it’s never for too long. - Ana

Does Emilio recognise him on television? Absolutely 100 per cent! He gets very excited and can now sing the Swans’ theme song on his own and watching dad do it on TV! - Ana


Sports Dad of the Year 2018
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