Kennedy out to repay Hill’s faith

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DEFENDER Tom Kennedy is enjoying the chance to prove his worth at Barnsley.

The former Rochdale, Leicester and Peterborough full-back has joined the club on a short-term deal until January, renewing his partnership with former Dale management duo Keith Hill and David Flitcroft.

And the 27-year-old impressed on his debut having been thrust into action in the Reds’ dazzling 5-0 demolition of Birmingham City last Saturday.

“This is a chance for me to establish myself and to get back to enjoying my football,” said Kennedy, who prefers to play at left-back but made his debut at right-back against the Blues to help out his manager Hill.

“I know Keith and Flicker really well from my time at Rochdale and we’ve stayed in contact.

“They gave me the opportunity to come down to the club just to train originally, but with us being impressed with each other it’s worked out well.

“As soon as I started training with the squad it reminded me of how it used to be at Rochdale, the whole atmosphere and the togetherness.

“There’s a siege mentality here; a willingness to work for each other is what drew me to the place.

“I knew it was only going to me a short deal, but for me it was worth it.”

Having trained with the Reds for a couple of weeks, Kennedy was grateful for his starting role last weekend - and is happy doing a job for the team wherever he can.

And it looks likely, even though long-serving Bobby Hassell has returned from suspension, that Kennedy will keep his starting place for the visit of Ipswich Town to Oakwell today.

“I couldn’t have asked much more from my debut, I really enjoyed it,” recalled Kennedy. “It’s strange to go and play right back, but I’ve played there before for the gaffer. It’s not something I’m daunted about doing. I enjoy keeping the ball like the manager ones. To be honest, I’m happy to play anywhere for the team.

“It’s going to be a battle for me to get in the team because the lads have been doing well.

“At Leicester it was a bit stop-start for me, but when I played I played well.

“But I was a victim of circumstance because Konch [fellow left-back Paul Konchesky] was there and he’s played at the top level, so he was always going to play when he’s fit.

“I went to Peterborough, played quite a few games in the Championship last year and enjoyed my time there.

“Now we’ve got two big games coming up. We’ve got to make sure all our hard work doesn’t go to waste on Saturday and then on Tuesday night.”