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Ben Kennedy 2005 to 2006

Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, Apr 17, 2009.

By The Wheel on Apr 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM
  1. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

    +3,063 /95
    As Manly emerged from the North Eagles debacle, coach Des Hasler and recruitment guru Noel Cleal went searching for a hardened professional who could lead and harden a young inexperienced team so they[​IMG] could go from average to great in the NRL.

    In early months of the 2004 season they grabbed test forward and Grand Final winner Ben Kennedy from the Newcastle Knights - BK proved to be the perfect man for the job and he was one of the key factors into turning the Sea Eagles into a premiership force.

    BK was born in Casino but had strong family connections on the peninsula.  A talented league player he was drafted into the GPS rugby system and attended St Joesphs College where he went onto to play for the Australian School boys rugby side.  Upon leaving school he played union for the Manly Marlins and was on the verge of further representative honours when he signed for the Canberra Raiders.

    Amazingly the Manly Sea Eagles were one of the first league clubs to spot Kennedy but then CEO Frank Stanton had a look at him down at Manly Oval and put a red mark next to his name in the recruitment book.  In hindsight it was a poor decision but fate works in funny ways and BK was to eventually come to the club when the time was right.

    He senior league career started in 1996 and he won the Raiders rookie of the year, after four seasons with the Raiders BK had developed into a top class forward.  The Newcastle Knights controversially poached him from the Raiders, some claiming he signed before the anti tampering deadline.

    His arrival at the Knights turned them into a force in the competition and he took the club to new heights.  His ruthless play and determined leadership eventuated in a premiership and his man of match performance in the club's upset victory over Parramatta in the 2001 Grand Final was sadly not rewarded with the Clive Churchill medal.

    After signing for the Sea Eagles his mission was to turn the talented young forwards like Watmough, King & Kite into a tough competitive unit that could dominate games and give their outside men the chance to win the games.

    Hi passion, toughness and will to win was evident from day 1 and many expected him to be named captain but Hasler opted for the much maligned Michael Monaghan.  Despite not having the 'c' next to his name in the program he was the perfect leader and often he let his actions do the talking on the field.

    BK was the back bone of the side and the weekend result often depended on how BK went.  I have been watching Manly for nearly four decades and apart from Bob Fulton no other player had as much influence on a Manly side as BK did.

    Such were his efforts in his two seasons at the club he was awarded a place in the club's greatest team in their 60th year.

    In 2005 Manly made their first finals series since the 1990s finishing 8th, the club progressed again the following season making the 2nd week of the finals,  BK played his last game for the the Sea Eagles in their loss to the Dragons at the SFS.

    Although there was no premiership  title during his time at Manly his mere presence turned the tide and his commitment to the team ethos renewed Manly premiership credentials that result in a Grand Final appearance in 2007 and an eventual title in 2008.

    It is fair to say that without BK's contribution to the Maroon and White, Manly fans would have never had the pleasure winning their 7th title in 2008.

    BK played 42 games for the Sea Eagles out of his career tally of 195 NRL games.  He played for the Blues 13 times and 12 international appearances to his name.

    Ben Kennedy - tough as nails champion.


Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, Apr 17, 2009.

    1. Dan

      Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor 2018 Tipping Competitor

      +8,333 /132
      As Manly emerged from the North Eagles debacle, coach Des Hasler and recruitment guru Noel Cleal went searching for a hardened professional who could lead and harden a young inexperienced team so they could go from average to great in the NRL.

      Read More
      • Like Like x 1
      • Filz

        Filz New Member

        +7 /0
        Good read, inspirational leader. Hard to split between he and killer whos been the best buy since manly comeback to the nrl in 2003
      • Frogz

        Frogz Well-Known Member Premium Member

        +2,078 /46
        I really don't understand the love for Ben Kennedy....and to compare him to Jamie Lyon....IMO no where near it.....
        • Like Like x 1
        • Dan

          Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor 2018 Tipping Competitor

          +8,333 /132
          For us, well the original few members of this site, we used to gather on the hill when there would be less than 5000 people there and watch most grades, have a beer and really enjoy the absolutely terrible footy we produced, we were not sure if the impact Kennedy would have, but when he came to the team, he changed the entire attitude of the team around him.

          You could feel the change and the belief that something better was about to happen real soon. He was the start of the change and the start of the team we now have. Much of our recent success started with the attitude he brought along with him
          • Like Like x 4
          • Masked Eagle

            Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

            +976 /0
            No doubt BK played a part in our rebuild to success after the NE. My problem with it is him being included in our greatest ever team because of it. The way he is referenced is like he is responsible for the Manly culture and it pays a great disservice to the players who went before him who made us what we are.
          • Mark from Brisbane

            Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

            +22,411 /432
            Agree 150%

            The most influential player in the last decade
          • MadMarcus

            MadMarcus Local Lunatic

            +9,190 /86
            In that first couple of years we had after emerging from the NEs even the great Beaver was very down on form and the team so bad that it was being absolutely carried by John Hopoate from the wing.

            The arrival of the 2 BKs in 2005 changed all that. Kennedy in particular brought that old culture back from the dead. I think you can see Kennedy's influence when you watch Choc and Gift play today.

            I don't think he is quite at Killer's level in my eyes, but what he achieved in a couple of years was nothing short of a miracle, so he is not far off.
          • bones

            bones Bones Knows Super Coach Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

            +9,054 /102
            Ben Kennedy did for Manly's forwards what Jamie Lyon did for the backs, and turned them into premiership winning standard. Both just as important as each other IMO. I believe 40-0 would not have happened if either of these two were never signed.
            • Like Like x 1
            • Clint

              Clint . Premium Member Super Coach Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

              +2,277 /35
              And if that was the case, my number plates would look very very silly.
              • Like Like x 1
              • eaglebuzz

                eaglebuzz Well-Known Member

                +2,458 /127
                I have a very vivid memory of bein in the stands for a game against the warriors when BK was absolutely carrying us then had to be taken off, with a neck injury if I remember correctly - possibly after scoring a try? And the whole ground was chanting "BK! BK! BK!" As he left the ground.

                His influence on the team in those years was massive. I had no idea how we'd replace him when 2007 ticked over, not to mention he was in red-hot form when he hung up the boots. The saddest thing for me in this otherwise very great time to be a Manly fan is that BK didn't win a premiership with us.
                • Like Like x 1
                • Killer03

                  Killer03 Well-Known Member

                  +3,521 /33
                  Until 2011 BK was my favourite all time Sea Eagle. I'd loved Toovey, Phil Blake, Carroll, Cliffy, Ian Roberts, Beaver etc etc, but BK was just a colossus on and off the field. Suddenly our team which had become a fair bit of a rabble had a genuine legend and leader in its team. Beaver had someone to look up to, Choc had someone to guide him and the Snakes and Monaghans had someone to look at in awe as he led them onto the field. I know it's pretty hotly debated about whether he should be in our all time Team of the last 60 years. Personally I say yes, and to be honest when we first signed him I thought we were signing an injury riddled crock.

                  In 2011 with our GF win Killer overtook BK as my favourite all time Sea Eagle (I even held a ceremony on GF night proclaiming Killer no.1!!), but BK sits easily as my 2nd favourite. I still regard our current success as part of his doing. Very much like how Australia's cricket success in the late 90s early 2000s owes much to Allan Border.
                • manlyfan76

                  manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member

                  +8,849 /196
                  He was tuff and skillfull. The sight of him pushing through injury week in week out and playing so well while doing it spoke volumes of his character. He deserves every accolade he gets.
                • Chip and Chase

                  Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member Super Coach Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

                  +9,606 /100
                  BK was the king of the advantage line, he just had to get over it every carry, relentless leg drive and unwavering determination marked his game. He also had a very good offload which he used judiciously.

                  He was the type of player that you didn't appreciate properly till you watched him week in, week out. The volume and quality of his workrate was outstanding.
                • globaleagle

                  globaleagle SGF0IHJ1bGVzIGFsbCE= Staff Member Premium Member 2018 Tipping Competitor

                  +15,280 /147
                  His fruit and veg shop was/is pretty good as well.
                • Volley

                  Volley Well-Known Member

                  +1,159 /61

                  Former Manly forward Ben Kennedy walks away from NRL club the Sea Eagles over Peter Peters's demise
                  By Dean Ritchie The Daily Telegraph September 08, 2011 9:52AM

                  Ben Kennedy, one of Manly's fiercest forwards, has walked away from the Sea Eagles over Peter Peters's demise.

                  "I love Des Hasler and the boys but Manly has lost me forever. One hundred per cent," Kennedy said.

                  Peters was made redundant earlier this week, causing enormous anger among Manly players and NRL fans. Most of their venom was directed at those behind the decision - football club and leagues club chairman Bob Reilly and new chief operating officer David Perry.

                  "I am absolutely heartbroken," Kennedy said. "Zorba has lived, breathed and bled for Manly over 40 years.

                  What's your opinion of Manly's dumping of Peter Peters? Could it have been handled better? Post a comment below.

                  "This is an absolute disgrace. Some of these pen-pushers behind this are unsighted. They wear their suits and think they own the joint. They lap it up when you win but aren't anywhere to be seen when times are tough. Do they have any idea about football? Not everything is about money.

                  "Zorba is always by your side, whether it's to kick you in the arse when you need it or give you a hug when you need it. He is the heart and soul of Manly.

                  "The fans and sponsors have to stand up here. They must get stuck into the club and these officials and have their say. They have to re-think this decision.

                  "If you lose Zorba, you lose half of Manly. He has earned the right to walk away from his job when he wants to - not when some pen-pusher tells him to. Perry has been at the club for just three months. The whole world has gone mad.

                  "I have had the chance to sit next to Zorba on the sidelines watching Manly games and he is like a two-year-old. You should see the passion and excitement."
                • Dan

                  Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor 2018 Tipping Competitor

                  +8,333 /132
                  nuff said
                • Hamster Huey

                  Hamster Huey Space Invader

                  +1,178 /9
                  Exactly. It was the recruitment of Kennedy which helped convince Kite that Des was fair dinkum about getting Manly back to the top. To then have both of these guys take on leadership roles in a pack that had enthusiasm but lacked a leader to take the game up the middle, was the turn around moment for the Sea Eagles after the JV debacle.

                  King, Watmough and Gift learnt a lot from these guys, and who knows where they'd be now if we continued as also-rans for another 3-4 years!!! Add Bryant and Rose who played under Kennedy, and you've got yourself a solid pack that largely took us to two premierships.
                • malroon

                  malroon Active Member

                  +258 /14
                  Rate Jamie Lyons up there with Cliffy, but BK was the man who put the cohesion into the team..

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