Terry Kennedy, the Sheffield United centre-half, has been praised by manager Nigel Clough for demonstrating an “excellent attitude” during his comeback from injury, writes James Shield.
Kennedy, a graduate of the League One club’s Redtooth Academy, completed an hour of Monday’s under-21 encounter against Charlton Athletic after undergoing knee surgery during the close season.
Clough told The Star: “Terry is the type of player, and person for that matter, who we love having around the place. That’s because he gives absolutely everything, 100 per cent, to everything that he does.
“You can never have too many of those in a squad and, because of that, he’s a joy to work with. He’s put in the hard hours to get back to this position whereby he can be involved again.
“All being well, he’ll be able to take part in games for even longer pretty soon. Because, and I can’t stress this enough, people like Terry are integral to everything we are trying to do and the mentality we’re building here behind the scenes.”
Kennedy made six first team appearances following Clough’s appointment in October, including victories over MK Dons, Peterborough and eventual play-off final winners Rotherham, coupled with January’s FA Cup success at Aston Villa.
United are preparing for this weekend’s visit to Bradford City 10th in the table after conceding a 98th minute equaliser against Leyton Orient five days ago and Clough added: “I’ll tell you this now, if Terry had been out there at that moment I don’t think we’d have let that one in. He’d have taken the man, the ball and probably half the stand in front of him as well.
“That’s the type of commitment and desire the lad has got for this football club. And it’s brilliant to see.”
Kennedy started United Professional Development League Two North encounter at The Valley, which finished 2-0 in the hosts’ favour, before being replaced by former Derby County youngster Sam Berry during the second-half.
Aged 20, the defender also appeared as a late substitute when Chris Morgan’s side beat Birmingham City earlier this month.
“Terry knows he might never be able to train at 100 per cent all the time because of the knee,” Clough said. “But that shouldn’t be a barrier to him because that’s been the case with plenty of successful players, even those at the highest level, down the years.
“And, without being silly, it also helps that he’s a centre-half. It might be more of an issue in another position but we can’t see any reason why that should hold him back in anyway at all.
“He’s not had the easiest of starts to his professional career as everyone knows. But he’s made up for any time he’s missed because of his work ethic and character.
“That’s an excellent approach to have and it is one which will serve him well in the future.”
Meanwhile, United’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area quarter-final with Walsall next month will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Tickets for the match, which is scheduled for Wednesday 12 November (kick-off 7.45pm), are priced £10 (adults), £5 (over-60’s) and £1 (under-18’s). Full information, including sale deadlines, will be released in due course.
United have announced their League One encounter against Oldham Athletic 10 days later is a Category B fixture. Tickets for are priced £18 (adults), £10 (concessions) and £7 (juniors).