31 days to go: Josh Kennedy’s FIFA World Cup story

Josh Kennedy

It’s less than a month until the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and as part of our countdown to the tournament, we are profiling every Australian player who’s been to a FIFA World Cup.

Today we continue the countdown with one of the biggest cult heroes of his generation of Caltex Socceroos – Josh Kennedy, the man fans called ‘Jesus’.

Cap number: 492

World Cups played at: 2006, 2010

Position: Striker

Age at World Cups: 23, 27 (now aged 35)

Clubs played for:

Carlton SC, Vfl Wolfsburg, Stuttgarter Kickers, FC Cologne, Dynamo Dresden, FC Nurnberg, Karlsruher SC, Nagoya Grampus, Melbourne City

Best World Cup moment:

Kennedy was Guus Hiddink’s joker in the pack for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and it was game one where he proved his worth.

The lanky striker hadn’t made a senior national team appearance until after he was brought into the pre-Germany training camp but when a goal was needed against Japan, Hiddink called on Tim Cahill, John Aloisi and Kennedy. The change paid off and Kennedy played a role in combining with Cahill and Aloisi for the Caltex Socceroos’ third goal.

Kennedy was also an impact substitute against Croatia, causing havoc, drawing Josip Simunic’s second of three yellow cards and being fouled in the box on the full time whistle.

Career highlight:

The goal that Josh Kennedy will forever be remembered for his is header against Iraq at Stadium Australia to qualify the Caltex Socceroos for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

A long and arduous campaign under then coach Holger Osieck went down to the final game, with Australia needing a win. With scores level, Osieck threw on the big No.9 and he popped up with a perfect header to redirect Mark Bresciano’s cross into the back of the net.

Kennedy reflects on vital strike

Post-playing career:

After a brief stint back in the Hyundai A-League with Melbourne City, Kennedy decided to call it a day after being hampered by persistent niggling injuries.

Kennedy is now an occasional pundit on Fox Sports.

Did you know?

Kennedy, a 194cm striker that towered over defenders, is married to a former Opals basketball star and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jacinta who herself is 185cm.

 

Source :  Socceroos Website

4 years ago : Australia qualifies for World Cup thanks to late Josh Kennedy winner

Updated 18 Jun 2013, 11:00am

Source  :  abc.net.au

David Gallop pays tribute to Josh Kennedy

Upon hearing the news of his retirement from professional football, Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop paid tribute to Josh Kennedy and his stellar career.

“On behalf of FFA and the Australian Football community I’d like to congratulate Josh Kennedy for his contribution to Australian football and in particular the Socceroos,” Gallop said.

“Josh will forever go down in Australian football folklore for his goal against Iraq to send the Socceroos to the 2014 World Cup.

“We wish Josh and his family the best of luck in retirement.”

Born and bred in the Albury-Wodonga region, Kennedy excelled as a junior footballer and was selected as member of the Joeys team that were runners-up at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand where they lost to Brazil in a Penalty shoot-out in the final.

Kennedy attended the Australian Institute of Sport and was signed soon afterwards for Carlton in the former National Soccer League for the 1999/2000 season. The following season Kennedy moved to Germany to join VfL Wolfsburg where he stayed for two seasons. During that time, Kennedy was also a member of the Young Socceroos squad which competed at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Between 2002 and 2004 Kennedy moved to  Stuttgart Kickers (Germany), FC Koln (Germany) and Dynamo Dresden (Germany). In 2004 Kennedy was also selected as a member of the Olyroos squad for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in Greece. It was during his time at Dynamo Dresden that Kennedy was selected in the Socceroos squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup which was held in Germany. He made his debut for  the Socceroos against Dutch club team VV Kloetinge scoring three goals in the 8-1 victory. His first A-International was five days later against  Liechtenstein where he again scored in the Socceroos 3-1 win.

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup Kennedy made appearances against Japan and Croatia. After the World Cup, Kennedy transferred to Nurnberg (Germany) and then to Karlsruhe (Germany) during the 2007/08 season.

After missing the AFC Asian Cup 2007 through injury, Kennedy was instrumental in the Socceroos 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign and was rewarded for his with selection in the squad for the South Africa tournament where he made appearances against Ghana and Serbia. In 2009 Kennedy made a move to Nagoya Grampus in the J-League where he played six seasons which included winning the J-League championship in 2010, the Super Cup in 2011 and being the J-League top goal-scorer in 2010 & 2011.

Kennedy was also a key member of the Socceroos qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup scoring 5 goals in 6 matches which included the all-important goal against Iraq at ANZ Stadium which guaranteed the Socceroos a berth in Brazil. Ange Postecoglou selected Kennedy in his preliminary squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and he travelled to Brazil, but injury forced him out before the start of the tournament.

In 2014 Josh returned to Australia to line up for Melbourne City FC in the Hyundai A-League where he made 12 appearances and scored 2 goals.

 

Football Federation Australia

Josh Kennedy retires from professional football

Former Socceroos and Melbourne City striker Josh Kennedy has announced his retirement from professional football, citing the demands of the modern game as the primary reason behind his decision.

With a career that spanned over 15 years and three continents, today’s announcement signals the end to Kennedy’s tenure as one of Australia’s preeminent strikers, which saw the 32-year-old etch his name in Australian football folklore.

“I would like to thank Melbourne City for giving me the opportunity to come back and play in the A-League and their support over the last 6 months,” Kennedy said.

“Unfortunately the demands of professional football over the years has taken its toll on me physically and after consultation with family and friends, I’ve made the decision to step away from playing.

“I am extremely proud of my achievements throughout my career and grateful to have represented the Socceroos at the highest level. I would like to thank the people that have helped me achieve my goals along the way, especially my family and close friends.”

Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip also thanked Kennedy for his time at the club.

“We speak for the entire football community in Australia when we thank Josh for his immense contribution to the sport,” van’t Schip said on Friday.

“While he only spent one season with Melbourne City, Josh was critical in helping the Club achieve its highest ever finish and winning its first ever final, with a goal and wonderful performance against Wellington in last season’s Final Series.

“From everyone at Melbourne City FC we wish Josh all the best for his life after football.”

Kennedy is best remembered for the goal that secured his nation’s path to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with the towering striker’s timely header handing the Socceroos a late but valuable 1-0 win over Iraq in Sydney in June 2013.

However, despite the gravity of that goal, it only scratches the surface of what has been a remarkable career for the Victorian-born striker.

The imposing striker, who made the journey from regional Victorian football near his hometown of Yackandandah to club football in Germany, Japan and most recently Australia, will also finish his career with a J-League Championship, two J-League Golden Boots, a DFB Pokal Cup and 17 international goals for the Socceroos across three World Cup campaigns.

Kennedy’s contribution to Melbourne City FC’s remains greatly valued by the club, scoring a goal against Adelaide United that was quintessentially Josh Kennedy and the crucial opening goal in the Elimination Final win over Wellington Phoenix.

Player Details

Josh Kennedy
DOB: 20/8/1982 (32 years-old)
Place of birth: Wodonga, Victoria
Position: Striker
Clubs (Appearances, Goals): Carlton S.C. (4, 0), VfL Wolfsburg (9, 4), Stuttgarter Kickers (23, 1), 1. FC Koln (23, 9), Dynamo Dresden (62, 16), 1. FC Nurnberg (18, 2), Karlsruher SC (36, 6), Nagoya Grampus (149, 68), Melbourne City FC (12, 2)

Football Federation Australia

Melbourne City dump Wellington Phoenix to set up A-League semi-final showdown against Melbourne Victory

May 3, 2015 – 10:14PM

Michael Lynch

Senior sports reporter with The Age

Melbourne City has set up an A-League semi-final blockbuster with cross city rivals Melbourne Victory after pulling off an upset 2-0 away win in its elimination final in New Zealand on Sunday evening.

John van ‘t Schip’s side, which had been woeful in its last two A-League fixtures, heavy defeats in Perth and Adelaide, once again showed that its reputation for inconsistency was justified when it got the better of a Wellington Phoenix team that had been at or near the top of the table all season.

Both goals came in the second half, the first on the hour mark from towering Socceroo frontman Josh Kennedy, the second when Frenchman Harry Novillo’s shot went in off Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss after striking the post.

A step forward: Josh Kennedy, left, fends off Ben Sigmund as City upset Phoenix in Wellington.

A step forward: Josh Kennedy, left, fends off Ben Sigmund as City upset Phoenix in Wellington. Photo: Getty Images

This might have been a shock on paper – Ernie Merrick’s Phoenix had home advantage and finished 11 points ahead of City at the end of the regular season – but on the balance of the game City deserved what they got.

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They were sharp enough to take their chances, and were well set up at the back where captain Paddy Kisnorbo put his body on the line on numerous occasions to preserve the advantage.

Rob Koren, who has had criticism for his lack of impact as a marquee player, got involved and worked hard throughout and played an important role whenever City went forward while Novillo was a handful when he took defenders on.

Phoenix, who had one of the league’s most potent attacks during the regular season, never really created much in the way of gilt-edged chances while the visitors often looked dangerous on the break, particularly in the second half when the game stretched as the hosts went in search of a leveller.

It was a classic game of two halves. The first had few chances and few memorable moments, while the second brought goals and a lift in tempo.

The hosts began the game at a fast pace and tried to make an early breakthrough. Nathan Burns almost got the Phoenix off to the start they wanted when he dropped his shoulder in the third minute, found space and fired a shot that skimmed just wide of Tando Velaphi’s goal.

But aside from a Michael McGlinchey free kick that was later to strike the bar and a Louis Fenton effort that ballooned over the top, Wellington created few real openings.

At the other end City, having weathered that early storm, began to conjure up some half chances.

The closest the visitors came to taking the lead came in the 26th minute when Novillo got on the end of a neat passing move involving Aaron Mooy and Rob Koren and fired a well-struck shot from the edge of the penalty area. The Phoenix defence blocked and then Glen Moss in goal collected the lofted rebound.

Shortly afterwards Vince Lia was upended on the edge of the Melbourne City penalty area within range for McGlinchey. The All Whites midfielder did well to get the ball up and over the wall but he could not get it to come down quite enough as it struck the bar and bounced to safety.

Novillo again tried his luck from distance 10 minutes or so before the interval when Jonatan Germano cut the ball back but the Frenchman’s well-hit effort was collected easily enough by Moss.

At the other end, Burns’ cut back to Fenton came to nothing when the latter bobbled the ball over the bar, and in Phoenix’s last chance before the interval the same pair combined only for Velaphi to deal with Fenton’s shot.

Burns began the second half in lively fashion after he was played through on the right by Wellington’s Dutch midfielder Roly Bonevacia but his cross came to nothing.

City began to find some opportunities on the left, with Novillo getting more into the game alongside Germano, the Argentine utility operating as a makeshift left back. Koren linked with Novillo to set up Germano, whose cross was put just wide by Kennedy. Shortly afterwards a header from the Socceroo striker, again from a Germano cross, went just wide. When the goal just after the hour mark came it again arrived after a build up down the left.

 

The Canberra Times

Melbourne City have stunned Wellington Phoenix 2-0 at Westpac Stadium in their Elimination Final

Melbourne City players celebrate Josh Kennedy's opener against the Phoenix.
Melbourne City have set-up a huge semi-final clash with local rivals Melbourne Victory after their upset 2-0 Elimination Final win over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday night.

A tense affair sprung to life in the second half as Josh Kennedy and a Glen Moss own goal in the space of 11 minutes swung the game in City’s favour.

The Phoenix never stopped trying to get back into the contest but struggled to break down a stubborn City rear-guard.

The reward for City is a massive Melbourne Derby against the Premiers’ Plate winners for a spot in this year’s decider.

WHAT THEY SAID

“It was a very tough game, full credit to the boys especially considering the last couple of weeks we’ve had. We dug deep – I know that’s the normal response after a win but the boys played out of their skin.” –  Melbourne City’s Josh Kennedy

“It’s so disappointing, who would’ve thought our home record would’ve been the thing that let us down this season. We had a good run into the semis in terms of home games and we didn’t take advantage.” – Wellington Phoenix’s Andrew Durante

GOALS

0-1 Kennedy (61’) – A quick City counter-attack saw them stream forward in numbers with the ball eventually getting to Harry Novillo in the box. The chance looked to have gone when the French winger was closed down but the ball fell to Aaron Mooy who lashed it towards goal, with Kennedy getting a touch to wrong-foot Glen Moss and go in.

0-2 Moss og (72’) – Another crisp, clinical counter-attack was started and finished by Novillo. After Robi Koren picked him out with a cross from the right, Novillo’s shot took a slight deflection off Ben Sigmund and hit the post, rebounding back onto Moss and going in. Cruel luck for the Phoenix gloveman.

KEY MOMENT

A silly foul by Harry Novillo presented Phoenix with a free-kick just outside the City box on 28 minutes. After Roly Bonevacia wasted one earlier, Michael McGlinchey took this one and went within a whisker of giving the home side the lead. His strike went high over the wall but had great dip, swerve and power to crash onto the cross bar and away. It was the closest either side came to a goal until Josh Kennedy had three chances in quick succession early in the second half, taking one to give City the lead. With the score still at 1-0, Nathan Burns squandered a great chance when his header was saved by Tando Velaphi from point-blank range. It should have been a goal and could have turned the match, but Novillo made him pay soon after.

OPTA DATA KEY STATS

Phoenix’s first half struggles continued, now failing to find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes in six successive matches. The win was just City’s second against Wellington in their last 12 clashes and the first time in their last seven games this season they have scored more than one goal.

HIGHLIGHTS REEL

Josh Kennedy’s goal might have been the difference but the performance of City skipper Patrick Kisnorbo was just as important for the visitors. The all-action defender threw his body into every challenge, blocking shots and coming up with vital tackles on numerous occasions, including for City’s opening goal. Even Fox Sports commentator Andy Harper was impressed by the defending, noting: “Patrick Kisnorbo is at his happiest when he’s horizontal”.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

Injuries and lack of form by some of Melbourne City’s regular fullbacks saw coach John van ‘t Schip use Paulo Retre and Jonatan Germano in those positions. It was a gamble with the pair both more comfortable in midfield but Phoenix failed to capitalise for the most part. Nathan Burns and Louis Fenton struggled to put any real pressure on them and it wasn’t until it was too late in the second half when they had more joy. Maybe if Fijian flyer Roy Krishna had started things may have been different.

THE FINAL WORD

Top of the league a month ago, Phoenix’s season ends with a whimper as they are bundled out in the first week of the finals. A disappointing end to a campaign that promised so much.

After a lean run of form, City delivered when it mattered and now have a blockbuster Melbourne derby against Victory to look forward to with a grand final spot on the line.

TEAMS:

Wellington Phoenix:  Moss, Sigmund, Sigmund, Durante, Muscat, Riera, Lia (Rodriguez 78’), Bonevacia, Fenton (Cunnigham 78’), McGlinchey (Krishna 58’), Burns

Melbourne City:  Velaphi, Retre, Chapman, Kisnorbo, Germano, Paartalu, Mooy, Koren, Williams, Kennedy (Marino 84’), Novillo (Murdocca 90’)

Scorers:  Kennedy 61’, Moss (og) 72’

Red cards:  none

Yellow cards:  Paartalu 42’, Bonevacia 45’, Sigmund 70’, Marino 90+3’

Conditions:  13C, Fine

Attendance:  10,171@ Westpac Stadium

Football Federation Australia

Melbourne City get impressive win against Adelaide, regain finals berth

February 27, 2015 – 10:28PM

Michael Lynch

Senior sports reporter with The Age

Focal point: City’s Josh Kennedy gave his teammates a target up forward.

Focal point: City’s Josh Kennedy gave his teammates a target up forward. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne City have broken their goal drought in style and leapt up to sixth position on the A-League ladder after coming from behind to see off high-flying Adelaide United 3-1 at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy and new Singaporean signing Safuwan Baharudin sparked  an impressive second-half fightback with their first goals for the club after the visitors had gone to the interval a goal to the good thanks to Pablo Sanchez’s 32nd-minute opener.

Substitute Iain Ramsay’s tap-in from a Massimo Murdocca cross three minutes from time iced the City cake in front of 7345 supporters.

John van ‘t Schip’s side is now three points clear of seventh-placed Brisbane Roar, but the Queenslanders, who play league leaders Perth Glory in Perth on Saturday night, do have two games in hand.

City might have garnered plenty of positive publicity for their swish new training centre, which opened at Latrobe University on Friday  morning, but the best PR for the club is winning games – something they had only done once in their last five matches.

The hosts had also not scored in their last 270 minutes of play, so it was hardly surprising they began at a crisp tempo, intent on rectifying that unwanted statistic as soon as possible.

Van ‘t Schip changed his formation and played three at the back, pushing Jack Clisby forward on the left and Singaporean new boy  Baharudin on the right.

Kennedy is still some way short of match fitness, but he worked hard, won plenty of flick-ons with his head and his feet and gave the team a target both in the air and on the ground.

Aaron Mooy, who had, by his standards, a couple of quiet games in the past few weeks, looked sharp and turned well to create an early shooting opportunity for Clisby, which flew just wide.

Mooy then was nearly on target himself, before Clisby again went close with a snapshot that flew just wide of Eugene Galekovic’s goal.

But, apart from a chance just before the half-hour mark, when Mooy turned beautifully to set up Robbie Koren, whose far-post cross was cut out by a defender before Clisby could make contact, that was as good as it got in the first 45 minutes for the hosts.

Adelaide gradually took the sting out City and began to create openings for themselves, taking the lead in the 32nd minute through Spanish winger  Sanchez. Ex-City defender Michael Marrone found Sergio Cirio, who was left alone to play a through ball inside the defenders for Sanchez to run on to and shoot past Tando Velaphi.

The Reds enjoyed a good spell for the remainder of the half, with City’s defenders too often standing off and allowing the likes of Cirio to run at them. Velaphi had to rescue his side with a good flying save from a shot by the latter as the interval approached.

Van ‘t Schip rolled the dice in the second half and changed formation, replacing Clisby with forward David Williams, shifting Kew Jaliens to right back and Baharudin to left back as he sought to increase his attacking options.

The changes paid almost immediate dividends, although the equalising goal, when it came in the 52nd minute, arrived via an unexpected source in Baharudin. Adelaide failed to deal with a  Mooy corner and the ball fell to the Singaporean unmarked on the left side of the penalty area, who gleefully lashed home.

Three minutes later City had turned this game around when they hit the front through a far more expected medium in the head of Kennedy.

The Socceroos frontman is renowned for his aerial ability, and he delivered to perfection when he beat both Tarek Elrich and  Galekovich to nod home Koren’s cross.

Kennedy almost stretched the lead in the 62nd minute when his flick from Koren’s cross after Galekovic had beaten away Mooy’s shot almost found its way past the Reds custodian, but Galekovic found a way to get a hand on the ball and deflect it wide.

Shortly after the energetic Kennedy burst through to go close again, while  Murdocca, as short as Kennedy is tall, curled a shot just wide after being set up by Mooy.

Ramsay confirmed the points with his late finish, and City are back and pitching for a finals berth.

MELBOURNE CITY  3 (Safuwan Baharudin 52m, Josh Kennedy 55m, Iain Ramsay 87m) dADELAIDE UNITED  1 (Pablo Sanchez 32m). Crowd: 7345 at AAMI Park. Referee: Alan Milliner

 

Source : The Canberra Times

Socceroo Josh Kennedy comes full circle in bid to fire Melbourne City to success

December 15, 2014

Michael Lynch

Senior sports reporter with The Age

Full circle: Josh Kennedy has returned to Melbourne to continue his stellar soccer career.

Full circle: Josh Kennedy has returned to Melbourne to continue his stellar soccer career. Photo: Supplied

It’s been a long and winding road, but after 15 years in Europe and Asia Josh Kennedy’s soccer journey has taken him back – almost to the exact position where it all started.

When the gangling Socceroo front man first broke into the big time with Carlton in the old NSL, he was a 17-year-old hopeful.

Fast forward a decade-and-a-half and Kennedy – now 32 and a veteran of two World Cups and seasons at the top level in Germany’s Bundesliga and Japan’s J League 1 – is returning to the Olympic Park precinct where it all began, having signed for Melbourne City.

Of course the game has moved onwards and upwards since Kennedy first drew attention to himself. Now clubs like Melbourne City play in swanky new stadiums like AAMI Park, a stone’s throw from the old Olympic Park venue where Kennedy cut his teeth.

But the lean, lanky striker is as self-effacing and laid-back as he was when he was a teenager.

Injuries have plagued the second half of the Kennedy career and caused him to miss the World Cup in Brazil – a particular frustration given that it was his headed goal late in the game against Iraq in Sydney a year earlier that sealed Australia’s qualifying spot.

He joins City while on the recovery list, not having played for his last club, Nagoya Grampus, since September, when the back problems that ruled him out of the Socceroos’ Brazil campaign flared up again.

Now he is regaining fitness and because his new contract starts on January 6 – when the Asian Cup forces a cessation in the A-League – he has another six weeks to get himself fit enough for a scheduled City debut when hostilities resume after the continental championship.

“I am not available until  the game on February 1st. I missed a lot of football towards the end of the season,” he said on Monday at City’s La Trobe University training centre.

“I came back to almost full training before I left Japan, so the next two weeks will start things slowly here and hopefully by the new year I will be back to team training.”

Although he was named in Ange Postecoglou’s provisional 46-man squad for the Asian Cup, his chances of being ready are non-existent, he said.

“I haven’t had the Asian Cup in my head. The target for me was always to come back for City and be fit for the Feb 1st game.”

Kennedy, who is married to former Australian Opal Jacinta Hamilton (the couple have three young children) always wanted to come back to live in his home country. But Kennedy, who was born in Wodonga, never thought he would finish his career here.

“Initially no, but I think the older I got, the longer I was away, there were a lot of things wanting me to come home. The opportunities weren’t there five, six, or seven years ago.

“With City coming in and starting things up, the planning, timing, everything came into place very well.

“Australia was always going to be home. I wanted to play overseas for as long as I could to a decent level.”

And Melbourne was always going to be his venue of choice. When Victory snapped up Besart Berisha and signed Mark Milligan as its Australian marquee player, City was always the more likely option for Kennedy.

“I was definitely committed to coming to Melbourne. If I had told my wife I was going to go somewhere else it would have been the same as staying in Japan or playing overseas.”

It’s been a peripatetic career, spent mainly in Germany with various Bundesliga clubs before he moved to Japan before the 2010 World Cup.

And it is the latter country where, he says, he improved more as a player and enjoyed his career the most.

“Definitely in Japan. I was at the one team for 5½ years and that probably made it the most enjoyable,” he said. “Germany, if I played well I moved on, if I didn’t play well I moved on as well.

“Those things were a bit up and down … I had my apprenticeship there in the first couple of years to learn life, the language, football as a young kid.

I had ups and downs there, some great experiences. Plenty of good and bad things. Japan took off from day one. I never really looked back.

“I think in Japan I improved a lot in the first 12 months to two years being there,  technically, with the ball at my feet. I think that opened another aspect of my game.”

Despite his height, he doesn’t expect City boss John van ‘t Schip to use him as a traditional target man.

“I don’t think City is a team that wants to hit long balls and wants to flick things on. They try to play football, and I hopefully can be at the top of that attack and play my part in developing things.

“The boys are not just a team to whack it and hope for something, that’s not the way I want to play. It’s more enjoyable if we try to play some decent football, and that’s what the coach wants to do.”

Most of the City players will be strangers, although he is mates with two of them – diminutive midfielder Massimo Murdocca, with whom he played in the Carlton youth team all those years ago, and skipper Paddy Kisnorbo, who lined up alongside him in several Socceroo games.

He will come in mid-season, and warns that fans should not expect him to solve City’s problems at a stroke.

“People need to be realistic. One person isn’t going to come in and change things, but once Robbie Koren comes back as well, and he gets fit and I can slot in, hopefully we can bring in a bit more stability to the team.

“Hopefully the longer the season goes we can improve and gell a bit better. It will take the whole team to work hard and grind out some results.”

While the Asian Cup will come too soon, Kennedy still believes he can do a job for the national team in the next phase of World Cup qualifying if required.

“I would never say no to the Socceroos. It’s a matter of if the body is right, I can physically take it and I am playing well enough to merit selection.

“I would definitely never say no. It’s one thing that’s inbuilt into me. It’s not a switch you turn off and say it doesn’t interest me any more.”

 

Source : The Canberra Times

Melbourne City sign Josh Kennedy as Aussie marquee

kennedy announcement
Melbourne City FC have announced the signing of Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy as its Australian marquee for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 Hyundai A-League seasons.

Kennedy, 32, will join the club in January 2015 from Japanese side Nagoya Grampus, where his prolific scoring has been a significant factor in Nagoya achieving its first ever J-League title and Kennedy winning the J-League’s Golden Boot award.

In joining Melbourne City FC, the towering Victorian-born striker returns to the State where he played his junior football, before embarking on a successful career in Germany and Japan.

Kennedy has represented Australia on 33 occasions, scoring 17 goals for the Socceroos, with his most important in Australia’s World Cup qualification match in June 2013.

His 83rd minute header secured a 1-0 win over Iraq and a spot at this year’s FIFA World Cup Finals.

Melbourne City FC coach John van’t Schip said: “Josh is a wonderful addition to our squad. He is the right person and the right player for Melbourne City FC and we look forward to him joining us in January.

“Josh’s record shows that he is a proven goal scorer and with the high quality of players around him, we are confident that he can create significant problems for defences in the A-League.”

Commenting on the move Kennedy said: “After a very long period abroad, the timing is right to join Melbourne City and I’m very excited about this project.

“It’s a new chapter in my career, but my goal will be the same – to help my club achieve all of its aspirations. I believe Melbourne City has huge potential.”

Permanent playing squad signed for 2014/15 (22 players): James Brown, Connor Chapman, Damien Duff, Mate Dugandzic, Ben Garuccio, Jonatan Germano, Jason Hoffman, Nick Kalmar, Josh Kennedy, Patrick Kisnorbo, Robert Koren, Stefan Mauk, Jacob Melling, Aaron Mooy, Massimo Murdocca, Erik Paartalu, Iain Ramsay, Andrew Redmayne (GK), Paulo Retre, Tando Velaphi (GK), Robbie Wielaert, David Williams

Player Details

Josh Kennedy

DOB: 20 August 1982 (32)
Place of birth: Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
Position: Striker

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Source : Football Federation Austrakiua website

Adam Taggart hoping to fill Josh Kennedy’s shoes

June 4, 2014 – 8:21AM

Adam Taggart.

Adam Taggart. Photo: Getty Images

VITORIA, Brazil His mum taught him never to get too big for his boots, now Socceroo striker Adam Taggart knows he has some mighty shoes to fill.

Taggart was expected to be left out of coach Ange Postecoglou’s final 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday but Josh Kennedy’s omission due to a back injury opened the door for the Newcastle Jets young gun.

Taggart spent his 21st birthday on Monday playing in the Socceroos‘ warm-up match against Brazilian division two side Parana Clube in place of the injured Kennedy.

Scoring in the 2-0 victory, he proved though he may lack the veteran strikers’ height and aerial ability he makes up for it with pace, persuading Postecoglou to rewarded him with the ultimate present.

After the team was told the news over breakfast on Tuesday, Taggart said the first person he contacted was his mum Sue.

“She someone who tried to implement a mindset since I was a little kid, don’t get too big for your boots,” he said.

“It’s something I have tried to concentrate on, and not think I am better than what I do on the field.

“At the same time I need to dream big. As a little kid you talk about your dreams and now to finally reach it … words can’t describe.”

As big as he dreamed, Taggart says just month ago he never imagined being at the World Cup.

By the end of a blistering A-League season, where his 16 goals earned him the golden boot award, Taggart was seen as bolter for Brazil.

“Throughout the season when being asked about the national team I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” he said.

“At 21 years old it is something I would never even be able to imagine being in a World Cup.”

Taggart is two years younger than Kennedy was at his first World Cup in 2006.

He says he’s always looked up to the veteran striker, who earned 37 caps.

“It sort of hits you this morning when you see the players who missed out, the likes of Josh Kennedy who is extremely unlucky with his back,” he says.

“He’s someone I looked up to as a young kid and now to try fill his shoes and carry on the hard work he has put in to every game he has played for his country.”

Since scoring on debut in 2006, the goals kept coming for Kennedy.

He netted 20 times in his 37 appearances, including the decisive goal that sealed Australia’s spot in Brazil.

But the 31-year old leaves Brazil having never scored at a World Cup, but Taggart is determined to get his name on the scorer’s sheet at the tournament.

“To feel as though I’m contributing to the team and scoring goals that’s all I think about,” he said.

“Scoring goals is not at the back of my mind, it is right at the front.”

AAP

Source : The Sydney Mornng Herald