Despite stealing the limelight for his spectacular last-minute winner against Richmond on Sunday, champion goal kicker Josh Kennedy has paid credit to his teammates for creating the goal.
Akin to Dom Sheed’s legendary game-winning goal in the 2018 Grand Final, Josh Kennedy stepped up to bend a wonder-strike around the posts to win the match by four points and solidify the Eagles position in the top eight.
The Eagles champion goalkicker was by far the best player on the park, not simply for his match-winning kick, but for his play throughout the game linking up with his teammates to kick six inside 50s, have a hand in eight score involvements, and kick four goals himself during the match.
Although Kennedy stole the front page, he paid tribute to his teammates who provided him with that final scoring opportunity with less than a minute left in the match.
“It’s something that I will never forget,” Kennedy told 6PR on Wednesday.
“Credit to the boys, working hard to transition the footy upfield like they did, and they gave us an opportunity to have a shot.”
“It was those boys, especially Shannon Hurn taking those marks really saved us in the end.
“It was great too that Liam was able to win that contest and got the footy to me.”
Ryan’s kick was the subject of much controversy after the match. Many took to Twitter to argue Ryan’s kick pass to Kennedy did not travel 15 meters, and Josh Kennedy’s mark that subsequently led to the match-winning goal shouldn’t have been paid.
It was dubious whether the kick travelled far enough, with the two-time Coleman Medalist having to dive to collect the pass and stop the ball from skirting out from underneath him.
“When they kick it, you feel like you have a fair bit of distance, but I suppose by the time the ball travels in the air, sometimes it’s the umpires call. I feel like I was 15, and the umpire called 15.”
“Those ones are the ones you don’t want to let go because if they skirt out underneath you, your opposite man picks up the ball and takes off pretty quick.”
Reflecting on the season, the West Coast have struggled to maintain a steady run of form, dropping off late in matches while failing to perform consistently over four quarters.
At times on Sunday, the West Coast did fade out of the game but showed their spirit to recover and fight their way back into the lead in the final quarter.
It was a hugely spirited display, showing that the Eagles have put a massive U-turn on their season after previously failing to perform against top-eight opposition.
“Richmond have been the best team in the competition over the last four years, and we know when they get given the chance, they really drop the hammer. They’ve got some really good players too,” Kennedy said.
“So for our group, missing a few guys, knowing that we’re able to push in that last quarter, which has been an issue for us, is quite satisfying.”
“Consistency is something that we’ve not been able to do this year, and hopefully, on the back end of the year now, we can get some consistency and a few four-quarter efforts.