Kennet Looking To Shine At Oxford
With the new football season now up and running, one teenager looking to make a real impact during the next nine months is teenager Josh Kennet.The 18-year-old recently signed his first professional football contract with Conference side Oxford United and hopes he can establish himself a place in the starting XI.
Speaking to TJ ahead of this weekend’s big kick-off, Kennet who also made a few appearances for London Maccabi Lions in the MSFL said: “To play professional football was a dream of mine and I’m now in the situation where I can make it a reality. It’s not a bad job to have, playing football for a living, doing something you really enjoy and getting paid for it. There’s a lot of hard work ahead but I’m determined to give it my best shot.”
Kennet has been at the club for the past two years having signed for them on their YTS scheme, and starred in their youth and reserve side. Prior to that, he spent time at Millwall and Spurs, and it was after the latter opted not to sign him up, that he went for a trial at Oxford who impressed with what they saw, offered him a contract.
However, despite his joy at signing professional terms, Kennet is still disappointed with how things went at the North London giants. He said: “Of course, it was a major disappointment but it will also serve me well as it will make me more determined to succeed and prove the doubters wrong, to show that I can make it in the game.”
A versatile player who can operate both at right-back and central midfield, Kennet’s initial aim is to get into the side though once he does, knows he’ll be under pressure to perform: “The contract is just for one-year which isn’t a long time in football but at this level, that’s what clubs offer. In some regards, it will put more pressure on me to impress when I have the chance.”
Oxford though, are also under pressure having been relegated from League Two last season and Kennet says nothing more than going straight back up will do. He said: “We have to bounce back straight away and get promoted and that’s what all the players and staff believe we can achieve.”
Confident in what he can achieve, he’s also set himself goals for the forthcoming campaign: “My aim is to get into the first team as quickly as possible and to then start scoring goals” he says. “I am confident in my ability and believe I can achieve my goals for the season. I don’t want to stay in the Conference all my life and do want to play at a higher level but first let’s see how I do here.”
With a season full of promise, he’s also delighted at the prospect of working with manager Jim Smith. He said: “I’m really looking forward to working under him. It will be brilliant to be playing for him and bearing in mind his knowledge of the game and who’s he’s worked with, you can’t really ask for much more.”
Josh will also get the chance to shine in front of the television cameras when Sky televise their clash with Crawley Town on 18 September. He adds: “I haven’t played in front of large crowds before but if I get the chance, I’m sure the adrenaline will hopefully get me through it. It’s what I’ve craved for, for a long time, dreamt about it since I can remember and I can’t wait to get my chance”.
*Josh and Oxford begin their season at home against Halifax on Saturday