Matthew Kennedy won’t forget the conversation anytime soon.
On the players’ final day at the club, and after the reviews had taken place and everyone had left, Kennedy walked into Leon Cameron’s office and had one of the hardest conversations he’s had to date.
It may not seem like much, but the 20-year-old was about to inform someone he deeply admires that he wants to leave the place he loves.
“It was an emotional day,” Kennedy told AFLPlayers.com.au.
“It was one of the toughest conversations I’ve had. Leon and I have a great relationship. Not only did he help my footy, he had a lot of influence on my life in general. I felt like we were pretty close so it was hard to say I wanted to leave.”
Kennedy said Cameron was great about the situation which is a testament to his character, but in the end, the hardened midfielder had to seek opportunities elsewhere.
The Giants still couldn’t offer Kennedy a contract at the end of the year and time was running out to secure his future.
The country New South Wales native chopped and changed his decision throughout the process. He didn’t know whether to leave guys like Harry Perryman, who he’s been playing footy with since he was 12, and he was close with Harrison Himmelberg and Jacob Hopper well before the trio got to the Giants.
But he was so impressed with Brendon Bolton and Stephen Silvagni during their meeting that the Blues is where he wanted to be.
There were multiple phone calls made to Silvagni where Kennedy continually expressed his interest in joining the historic Victorian club.
“I love the direction they’re heading which made the decision a bit easier in the end,” Kennedy said.
“I want to go there not because of money or more opportunity but I have a real want to go there and that was a big factor in choosing the Blues.”
Things didn’t track as swiftly as he would’ve liked, though, as the trade didn’t go through until the last 40 minutes of the trade period on Thursday. It made for a nervous wait for the inside midfielder.
Tired of waiting, Kennedy went down to the local pub to have lunch with his cousin — continuing to wait by the phone and checking the time was driving him insane.
In the end, the Giants re-signing their stars throughout the year meant Kennedy had to take his future into his own hands.
But he has no grudges towards the Giants, in fact he feels the opposite and as he reflects on the decision on the family farm in Collingullie, Kennedy said he’ll always be attached to the club that gave him the opportunity.
“I loved the Giants and I still do. They’ll have their success and I’ll be cheering for them. I was close with so many people there, it’s a fantastic footy club.”