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"He really shaped me into the player I am today"

Rhys Dickinson  April 16, 2018 2:45 PM

Kennedy press conference 16.04.18 West Coast forward Josh Kennedy talks to the media following a 5 goal haul in his first game for 2018
Josh Kennedy is two majors shy of becoming West Coast's all-time leading goalkicker

Josh Kennedy is two majors shy of becoming West Coast's all-time leading goalkicker

West Coast spearhead Josh Kennedy says he owes a lot of his success to the man he is set to overtake as the Eagles’ all-time leading goalkicker.

Kennedy is just two straight kicks away from eclipsing Peter Sumich’s club record of 514 goals after collecting five majors in his comeback game against Gold Coast.

But the dual Coleman medallist said capturing the record was the furthest thing from his mind when he ran out onto Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

In fact, Kennedy didn’t even know he was one goal shy of equalling Sumich’s mark when he his slotted his final goal of the evening until a teammate informed him.

“I totally forgot about it until someone came up at the game and said you just need one more to equal it,” Kennedy joked

“[Breaking the record] is not something I’ve really been thinking about, but I actually had a call from ‘Summa’ a month ago saying ‘What’s all this about you breaking my record?’

“It’ll be something that is pretty special and close to my heart and something that’ll make me feel very privileged and honoured if I get it but it won’t be something I really reflect on until I finish [my career].”

Kennedy revealed Sumich played a big part in helping him edge towards claiming the club record.

He said the 1992 and 1994 premiership-winning Eagle passed on countless pearls of wisdom regarding the art of playing in the attacking 50 while serving as an assistant coach to John Worsfold.

“He was my forward line coach early on in my career and he really shaped me into the player I am today and I couldn’t thank him enough,” Kennedy said of Sumich.

“One of the biggest things [Sumich taught me was the art of] keeping it simple and not overcomplicating things, which most of us do, especially as a young kid you can really overcomplicate football.

“It’s a pretty simple game and he’s someone who really got the balance for me in that sense.

“Probably just my work rate and second, third efforts is something his pushed when I was younger too.”