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INTERVIEW: A perfect fit for me

20 May 2015

Midfielder Jason Kennedy on his move to Brunton Park

Midfielder Jason Kennedy spoke to us about his move to Brunton Park shortly after agreeing a two-year deal with the club on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve been looking forward to getting this done ever since the end of the season,” he said. “It’s nice to get there with it all and I’m looking forward to being here now.

“This is definitely where I want to be. I’ve loved it from day one, even though it wasn’t ideal circumstances at the time. The manager, the staff, the fans and the other players have been fantastic with me and I appreciated that. Things have gone really well for me here and it’s a good place to be.”

“The reaction to me from the fans has been a big part of this decision,” he admitted. “With social media in particular you get people sending you messages, and it was really positive feedback I was getting. 

“That made me realise they’d appreciated my efforts and that makes you feel good.”

“The only slight frustration with this has been waiting to get to the point where you can get the contract signed,” he told us. “You’re waiting for the day to come along but, to be honest, it’s actually been done quite quickly.

“There’ll be a lot of players who will have to wait until the start of pre-season to get sorted so this has been ideal. It means I can get on holiday with my family and not have to worry about whether or not I will have something sorted out.

“It’s great for me to feel wanted by Carlisle United as well. The manager spoke to me after the season had ended and he told me then that he wanted me to come up here. 

“The things he said in that discussion excited me. He’s clear on where he wants to take the club and he wants me to be part of it. I’ve been looking forward to getting this done ever since.

“He basically persuaded me this was the place to be with the way he’s said and done things right through my time here. He wants the best for the club. It was hard last season, but he’s determined things will improve and the drive he has for this job has motivated me. I want the same things as he does, and that’s to win games and push on.”

“It goes without saying it’s good that it’s a two year deal,” he commented. “Like a lot of people I have a family to support, but that hasn’t been the major factor.

“I haven’t come here because it’s a two year deal. I’m here to play football as well as I can and to be successful. If we’re all doing that we should be looking to take Carlisle United into League One this time next year.”

“I’ve seen enough to know this is a club that can kick on,” he said. “Everybody here wants a successful team. I’ve also seen first hand that the fans will back you all the way if you go out and perform. 

“With the right blend, which the manager is working on, I can only see good things coming here. You just need to look at the likes of Wycombe, who were fighting against relegation last season, and they are in a play-off final this time round. 

“If you get everyone pulling in the same direction, that’s exactly what can happen. I think our aim has to be promotion. If you don’t have that as your ambition as a player then there’s no point in doing it. We should all want to play at the highest level we can and for me, right now, that means us going up at the end of next season.

“Being successful with your club has a knock-on right the way through your life. It means you’re being successful for your family and for those who care about you. More importantly it will mean you can look back on your career and know you’ve given it everything. In my opinion that should be part of every player’s make up.”

On his goal scoring record with the Blues at the end of last season, he said: “Three from eleven appearances isn’t too bad really. It’ll be good if I can carry that into next season. 

“They all came from within the six-yard box but that means I was getting into the right positions. I don’t mind if they keep coming like that. If goals go in and we’re winning games I don’t really care who is getting them, or how they’re doing it.”

Having got the deal done, you could be forgiven for expecting him to take a few weeks of well earned rest, but he was quick to remind us that the rather pressing issue of a wedding is looming very large on the near horizon.

“There’s no way I can relax at the moment because I’m getting married next week,” he revealed. “I don’t think she’d be too happy if I just switched off from that. 

“It’ll be good to be able to go into next week knowing everything else is sorted and it’ll definitely mean I’ll be able to enjoy my holiday a bit more. 

“I’ve already had an email from Lee Fearn, the strength and conditioning coach, with our summer training programme because he clearly doesn’t want us to relax at all! I do have a busy schedule coming up, and the focus is on the wedding at the moment, but I’ll also make sure I’m fitting the work I need to do in there as well.”

“I don’t think pre-season is ever a great time for a footballer,” he said. “It’s always hard but I’m the type of person who likes to push myself. I try to do a bit more each year because you’ve got to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders come the start of the season.”

“For me, it’s just really good to be here,” he concluded. “Everything seemed to fall into place the day I got here and the club has a family aura around it that I really like. Everyone is so friendly so I think it’s the perfect fit for me.”

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