Toughness has been a feature of the AFL Women’s, with plenty of big hits in the opening two rounds. Several have resulted in reports including the bump that concussed Melbourne player Meg Downie.
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 11, 2017
Kennelly has identified that because the women are not yet professional they haven’t had the time to develop the self-protection methods utilised in the men’s game.
“This is uncharted ground and it takes time and a lot of coaching to get used to protecting the head,” Kennelly told Fox Sports News.
“I have a concern — it’s a small concern — but I know how difficult it is coming from the other side of the world and protecting your neck and head. It took me a long time to get over it and get it right. That’s the concern I have with women’s football.
“There are a lot of girls who haven’t played a whole lot of AFL football at the top level and not as full time professionals.
“The (behind the play) stuff is unacceptable at any level — man, woman or child.”
Australian female cricketer Alyssa Healy agreed with Kennelly, saying the women are hitting hard to prove they are as tough as the men.
“Most sport is very male dominated,” Healy told Fox Sports News.
“When you go out there you want to prove that you’re just as good as the blokes. Footy is that you want to tackle hard and make that contest. Maybe the girls are going just a little bit too hard and maybe it will even itself out.”