Josh Kennedy (footballer, born 1987)

Joshua J. Kennedy (born 25 August 1987) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played for Carlton from 2006 to 2007.

Josh Kennedy
Kennedy playing for West Coast in 2018
Personal information
Full name Joshua J. Kennedy
Nickname(s) JK
Date of birth (1987-08-25) 25 August 1987
Place of birth Melbourne
Original team(s) Northampton (GNFL)
Draft No. 4, 2005 National Draft
Height 196 cm (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Weight 104 kg (229 lb)[1]
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current club West Coast
Number 17
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2006–2007 Carlton 022 0(11)
2008– West Coast 221 (600)
Total 243 (611)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of SF 1 2019.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Kennedy is originally from Northampton, Western Australia. He played football for East Fremantle in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) before being drafted to Carlton with the fourth pick in the 2005 National Draft. After two seasons at Carlton, he was traded to West Coast at the end of the 2007 season as part of a deal involving club captain Chris Judd. Kennedy soon established himself as West Coast's leading key forward. He has led the club goalkicking five times, firstly in 2011 and then in five consecutive seasons from 2013 onwards. In 2014, he briefly served as acting co-captain following the retirement of Darren Glass. Kennedy won consecutive Coleman Medals in 2015 and 2016 as the league's leading goalkicker, and was runner-up in 2017. He was also named in the All-Australian team in each of those years. Kennedy kicked his 600th goal on 27/7/2019, at Optus Stadium in Perth, receiving a standing ovation.

Early life and junior career

Kennedy was born in Melbourne, and grew up in Canberra, Townsville, and Perth, with his family finally settling in Northampton, a small country town north of Geraldton, Western Australia.[2][3] His parents, Jenny Peterson and Jamie Kennedy, both played basketball professionally, in the Women's National Basketball League and National Basketball League, respectively, having first met as scholarship holders at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).[4] Kennedy played both football and basketball growing up, and represented Western Australia's state under-16 basketball team.[3] He later concentrated on football, playing for Northampton in the Great Northern Football League (GNFL). Kennedy played for the state football team at both under 16 and under 18 level, and was named in the under 18 All-Australian team at conclusion of the 2005 AFL Under 18 Championships.[5] He had attended the AIS/AFL Academy in Canberra the previous year, and toured Ireland with an academy side, playing several international rules matches, and thus became the first child of two previous AIS scholarship holders to also attend the institute.[6] With Northampton falling into the recruitment zone of the Perth-based East Fremantle Football Club, Kennedy made his senior (WAFL) debut during the 2005 season, finishing with six goals from six games.[7] He was selected by Carlton with pick four in the 2005 National Draft, held in November 2005.[8]

Senior career

In 2006, Kennedy showed promises that he could be a future key-position forward, having made his debut in round six. However, he struggled for ground time and form when playing at AFL level, scoring only 5.4 from his nine games. In Carlton's VFL-affiliate, the Northern Bullants, he found it easier to show his skills with eighteen goals for the season.

In 2007, Kennedy committed to a new 2-year contract with the Carlton Football Club. However, on 11 October, it was announced that he had agreed to instead return to his native state and play for the West Coast Eagles,[9] thus enabling Carlton to secure the services of top midfielder Chris Judd in a trade.

On 26 April 2008, Kennedy, wearing number 17, made his debut for the Eagles.

In round 9, 2011, Kennedy kicked ten goals against the Western Bulldogs, becoming just the fourth Eagle (after Scott Cummings, Peter Sumich and Mark LeCras) to kick ten goals in a game.[10]

After playing in struggling teams at the start of his career – four of Kennedy's first six seasons resulted in bottom two finishes, including two wooden spoons, one each at Carlton and West Coast respectively, Kennedy made his first finals appearance in 2011. Kennedy won only 14 of the first 67 matches of his career. However his record has since improved; as of the end of 2012, he has won 23 of his last 32 matches to have a career win-draw-loss record of 37–1–61.[11]

In the 2013 AFL season, Kennedy was in front of the Coleman Medal nearly every week. But with the Eagles losing their last three games by an average margin of 71 points and Kennedy being goal-less in each of them, he lost his chance of winning the medal.

On 30 March 2014, Kennedy played his 100th game for the Eagles, kicking four goals and one behind in a 93-point thrashing of Melbourne at the MCG. In round 8, 2014, Kennedy bagged 11 goals straight in a 111-point win over the Giants. He would then go on to kick bags of 7 and 8 both against the Suns. He finished the year with 61 goals. After Darren Glass retired midway through the season, Kennedy was named acting co-captain of the club for the remainder of 2014, along with four other players.[12]

On 10 April 2015, Kennedy kicked 10 goals again against Carlton. It was the third time that he brought up the double figures, kicking 6 of his 10 goals in the third quarter. His tenth goal for the night was also his 300th for his career. At the end of the Home and Away season, Kennedy finished with 75 goals and became the second West Coast player to win the Coleman Medal.

On 21 May 2016, after kicking 5 goals in the previous match, Kennedy bagged 7 goals against Port Adelaide to bring his career tally to 400 goals. He went on to secure back to back Coleman Medals in the same year, scoring a total of 82 goals.

Kennedy kicked his 500th career goal in round 20 of the 2017 AFL season. He then kicked his 500th goal for West Coast two weeks later in round 22, becoming only the second player in club history to do so (after Peter Sumich).

On 29 April 2018, Kennedy became West Coast's all-time leading goalkicker, overtaking Sumich with his 515th goal for the Eagles during the Western Derby.[13] In the 2018 AFL Grand Final, Kennedy scored three goals. His team, the West Coast Eagles, won the premiership.[14]


Statistics are correct to the end of 2019 [15]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2006 Carlton 595436165232110.
2007 Carlton 5136557409750270.
2008 West Coast 177745534894671.
2009 West Coast 1716311715052202110281.
2010 West Coast 1722411919961260130601.
2011 West Coast 1723593820862270144702.
2012 West Coast 179181458167443132.
2013 West Coast 1721602321063273143692.
2014 West Coast 1720613317551226114623.
2015 West Coast 1725805524192333168523.
2016 West Coast 1723823722971300148693.
2017 West Coast 1719693916659225111273.
2018 West Coast 171443201173815568283.
2019 West Coast 172249291325118389392.
Career 243 611 337 2033 706 2739 1396 562 2.5 1.4 8.4 2.9 11.3 5.7 2.3

Honours and achievements


West Coast Eagles

Personal life

Kennedy married long-time girlfriend Lauren Atkinson, an artist, in October 2016.[16] They had previously been together since 2008 and now have two daughters.


  1. "Josh Kennedy". West Coast Eagles. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. Craig O'Donoghue (2005). "Moving not so scary for Kennedy" – The West Australian. Published 1 October 2005. Retrieved from Factiva, 5 August 2013.
  3. Matt Burgan (2005). "It's AFL, not NBL for Kennedy" – Australian Football League. Published 29 September 2005. Retrieved from One Eyed Richmond, 4 August 2013.
  4. Courtney Walsh (2007). "Eagles land a reluctant catch"The Australian. Published 12 October 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  5. Kevin Sheehan (2005). NAB AFL U18 Championships: All Australians – Australian Football League. Published 4 July 2005. Retrieved from AFL Tasmania, 4 August 2013.
  6. Ray Wilson (2008). "Jumping Josh son of a gun" – The West Australian. Published 2 May 2008. Retrieved from Factiva, 5 August 2013.
  7. Joshua KENNEDY (East Fremantle) – West Australian Football League. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  8. Joshua Kennedy – Footywire AFL Statistics. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  9. "Judd deal completed". AAP. 11 October 2007.
  10. Schmook, Nathan. "Kennedy soars". Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  11. AFL Tables - Josh Kennedy - Statistics
  12. Alex Malcolm (13 June 2014). Up to five could rotate West Coast captaincy – Australian Football League. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  13. Mark Conway (29 April 2018)
  14. "West Coast Eagles Vs Collingwood - Match Centre -". Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  15. "Josh Kennedy". AFL Tables. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. "West Coast Eagles Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy meet their match". NewsComAu. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
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