Kennedy’s happy to be part of City revolution

Chris Lakey John Kennedy hasn't played a full 90 minutes of football for eight months - and even then the memory of a painful three-year absence from the game was fresh in his mind.

Chris Lakey

John Kennedy hasn't played a full 90 minutes of football for eight months - and even then the memory of a painful three-year absence from the game was fresh in his mind.

No surprise, then, that he was just happy to get through all but the dying minutes of City's game against Colchester United on Saturday.

“That's the first near full game I've had for a long time, but it was just good to get involved again,” said the 24-year-old.

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Kennedy's promising career came to a halt on his Scotland debut in March, 2004, when a challenge by Romanian striker Ionel Ganea left him with serious knee ligament damage. The injury was aggravated the following year and he didn't reappear until April, 2007, although he did enough to help Celtic clinch the Scottish Premier League crown.

However, at the end of November last year, he again suffered damage to the same knee, during a European Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, ruling him out for the rest of the season.

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A loan move to Motherwell was on the cards, until City boss Glenn Roeder stepped in - and now Kennedy could be pulling on a Norwich City shirt for the Championship opener at Coventry on Saturday. It's not hard to understand why he is looking forward to his loan spell at Carrow Road.

“I think when you sit out you miss it a great deal and once you come back you make the most of it,” he said. “But it is no different from anyone else - if you miss two weeks or two years you miss it just as badly.

“I am going to savour every moment I have here and look forward to it.”

The point of his five-month stay in Norfolk is simple.

“Just to get steady games,” said Kennedy. “I got half of last year and then I picked up a knee injury and that kept me out the rest of the season. It's just to get games and play regularly and hopefully at Norwich it will give me the opportunity to do that.

“I just have to take each game as it comes.

“I think it is a good opportunity for myself to come here and get playing and the manager and the staff have all been great so I'm looking forward to being part of it.”

Kennedy is looking forward to the opportunity of forming a new central defensive partnership with Dejan Stefanovic at the weekend.

“He is a very experienced lad, he has done it all,” Kennedy said. “He has played in the Premiership and been around so he has got all the experience in the world and I think that will be good for the team because we have got quite a young squad and a player like him is a player you can look up. I am sure is a good signing.”

Between them the pair allowed Colchester a couple of goals - Kennedy inadvertently steering the ball into Steven Gillespie's path for the opener - and while fitness issues are important, he is hoping the errors are now out of the way.

“It got caught off my feet, but it's as well to get these out of the way in pre-season,” he said. “It's a bit disappointing, but these things happen when you're a bit rusty and coming back to match fitness. I'd rather do it now and get it out of the road and next Saturday not be in that situation.

“But it was good to get playing again. I have something under my belt before the season starts so come next week at least I have had something so I'll be ready.”

Kennedy is used to playing in front of packed houses at Celtic Park, but acknowledges there are few other comparisons to be made between life in Glasgow and Norfolk.

“It is different,” he said. “It is a different club, different stadium, but the atmosphere on Monday night (against Spurs) here was terrific so I think anywhere you go, if there's a packed house and the fans are as good as they are here there's always going to be a great atmosphere and I think the boys love playing at this ground.

“It is a great opportunity for myself and the lads - the fans have been great here and they always stick by them and I think the boys want to repay the fans this year and give them something.

“Every league you go to it's different. Down here you can name nearly the full league and they have a chance of pushing for promotion this year, so it's very, very competitive.

“At Celtic, year in year out it tends to be Celtic or Rangers who tend to be pushing for top spot, but down here there are a lot more teams going for it. It's a bigger league and the competition is really fierce so it's good to come into an environment like this and really test yourself.

“It's new for me and gives me a buzz and gets me excited for what's ahead.”

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