From the Coburg official website
Reprted by Adrian Dixon
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Paul Kennedy brings a huge wealth of experience to the Lions for 2016. PHOTO: Jenny Owens Photography.
With under a month to go until the beginning of preseason, we’re delighted to announce that 2005 Sandringham Premiership player and Frankston club stalwart Paul Kennedy will be a Senior Assistant coach of the club for 2017, and will also be our Head Development coach.
Known as ‘PK,’ he comes after stints on the coaching panel at Frankston and the Box Hill Hawks, but is perhaps best known for his time as a Dolphins player, and it was the similarities between Coburg of today and Frankston in the mid-late 2000's that drew Kennedy to Piranha Park.
"The way Coburg have gone about things the past three years, with really high expectations on themselves to improve and perform, reminds me of Frankston during the successful time we had under Brett Lovett," Kennedy said.
"I've never heard Coburg complain about having a small budget, they just get on with the job and compete hard on-field and do some great work in the community off-field, and I really respect that."
‘PK’ has been involved in state league football circles much longer than that though, dating back twenty years to his first VFL season in 1997 at Sandringham, where he managed two separate stints. Kennedy also spent time with the Dandenong Stingrays as a skills coach during his first stint in the VFL.
After the 2000 season where he missed out on the Zebras Senior Premiership side having played the whole season in the seniors, Kennedy would make the move to South Australia with Sturt.
His three seasons with the Double Blues were injury riddled and he would again miss out on a premiership, this time in 2002. The 2004 season saw him step away from Australian rules football and head to Ireland, where he played with Gaelic football side Salthill, helping them reach the Galway county final, where they would lose to Irish representative Padraig Joyce’s team.
Returning to Australia in 2005, Kennedy headed back to Sandringham. After beginning the year in the reserves, he got his chance halfway through the season in the senior side and never looked back, and would finally become a senior premiership player- as the Zebras went back-to-back upsetting minor premiers Werribee.
Shortly after, he would join local and stand-alone rival Frankston. Under Brett Lovett, PK would establish himself as a cult figure where he was instrumental in the Dolphins finals appearances in 2006 and 2008. His 2008 season was watershed and best remembered for making the team of the year, and falling just short in the JJ Liston Trophy count. He would also serve as a playing assistant coach.
Upon Lovett’s departure as coach, Frankston’s fortunes began to slide heavily. And upon the exodus of the players throughout the Lovett era, Kennedy would stay true to the cause.
Kennedy captained the side for the first two seasons in the Simon Goosey era which would only see three wins achieved- ironically all against Coburg. At the end of 2011, he decided to try his hand at another sport- Basketball with the Big V’s Chelsea, but would stay involved at the club as skills coach- a role he’d hold down for the next three seasons.
However, 2013 saw Kennedy return for one last hurrah at Frankston Park. While the season was spent alternating between the seniors and development league, Kennedy’s return to the club was a massive boost for the Dolphins as they made major inroads compared to the previous few seasons- managing six wins, and the development league side making finals, something which hadn’t been achieved in years.
Upon Simon Goosey’s controversial departure following the season’s end, PK joined the Box Hill Hawks as an assistant coach for 2015 and 2016, where he served as the Senior Assistant Coach of the Forward line and also specialised in individual player development.
But now he is excited upon beginning his newest challenge at the Lions, where he is the new Head Development Coach and will also be the Senior side’s main assistant, working with coach Peter German and the three line coaches.
"Once I'd chatted to the club and seen their vision it was an easy choice to get involved, working alongside a great coach like Peter German to try and help this club take the next step," Kennedy said.
"I'm really passionate about stand-alone football and I'm passionate about helping young players understand how they can perform consistently at their best, so an emerging club like Coburg is a perfect situation for me and I can't wait to get started."
General Manager Craig Lees was excited to have an individual of Kennedy’s calibre come on board for 2017.
“Paul is an outstanding appointment for the Coburg Football Club, his work ethic, attention to detail and attitude is why we were so keen to secure his services,” he said.
“PK will be outstanding in leading our development team in 2017, and offers leadership and experience to Peter German and the coaching staff. PK will have a profound impact on our players, and we are delighted to welcome him to Coburg in 2017.”
Football aside, Kennedy’s impressive CV doesn’t necessarily end there. Holding a Bachelor Degree in Sports Coaching and a Diploma in Freelance Journalism, he has covered Australian and International Basketball for the AAP, FIBA and NBL for the past decade, including covering two world cups.
He has also worked in the Communications department at the Frankston City Council for the past decade, and during his playing career at the Dolphins was responsible for the club’s Media and Community Engagement programs.
Paul Kennedy: The Facts
1997-2000, 2005 - Sandringham
2001-2003 - Sturt (SANFL)
2004 - Salthill (GAA in Ireland)
2006-2013 - Frankston
Total of 144 Senior State League games
1999-2000 - Dandenong Stingrays (Skills Coach)
2007 - Frankston (Playing Midfield Coach)
2012-2014 - Frankston (Skills Coach)
2015-2016 - Box Hill Hawks (Assistant Coach - Forwards & Player Development)
2016 – Coaching consultant, Burnie Dockers (TSL)
2005 – Sandringham VFL Premiership
2008 - VFL Team of the Year & JJ Liston Medal Runner Up
2010-11 – Frankston Captain
Bachelor Degree in Sports Coaching at Deakin University
Diploma in Freelance Journalism at Morris Journalism Academy