I’VE STILL GOT A LOT TO OFFER, INSISTS PADDY
Experienced keeper Kenny so happy to be
PADDY KENNY’S contract at Bolton Wanderers may be up next month, but the 36-year-old shot stopper is adamant that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.
And the former Sheffield United keeper admits he is using his current loan spell at Oldham Athletic as a chance to put himself in the shop window for potential suitors.
Although he missed much of the 2009-10 season after being banned for nine months for failing a drugs test at Sheffield United, the Republic of Ireland international has never really had to contend with life on the substitutes’ bench in his 17 years in the professional game since earning his move from Non-League Bradford Park Avenue.
That is until this year when first Leeds United were happy to let him leave and then new club Bolton preferred Andy Lonergan between the sticks.
Initially signed as injury cover for Adam Bogdan, Kenny’s deal at the Macron Stadium ends in January and the seven-times capped international admits he has struggled to come to terms with his fall from grace.
“I have been used to playing games for pretty much my whole career and then these last nine months I have not been playing,” he said.
“Considering that I am out of contract in about a month’s time, the move to Oldham is an incredible opportunity to try and put myself in the shop window.
“Just getting my face out there, being part of the match-day preparation and being back involved is a nice feeling.
“For my 15-16 years in the game, I have always been playing week-in, week-out for whatever club I have been at.
“I think I still have a lot to offer. I have got loads of experience, which I think is the key for a goalkeeper and I am not that old in goalkeeping terms.
“Touch wood, I have been really lucky with injuries and I certainly feel I have got a good few years left in me yet.”
What the immediate future holds for Kenny remains unclear. Indeed, the man himself admits he has no idea about potential suitors in January.
What is for sure, however, is that Kenny has joined a club on the up in Oldham, albeit on loan.
And while the prospect of making the move to the Latics permanent is yet to be discussed, Kenny admits he has been impressed by what he has seen at Boundary Park.
“When Adam Bogdan was injured I made the move to Bolton,” he said.
“It was just a six-month deal and now I need to see what the situation is and what my options are moving forward,” he added.
“I have not really thought about it too much, though, I just want to get back to playing games.
“It takes some getting used to being out of the team, but I’m really enjoying being back. I didn’t have that much to do in my first weekend back with Oldham.
“I was in the side straightaway and obviously it’s great to be back playing.
“Oldham are on a nice little run, so it’s good to be able to go in and help them out.”
The Latics came into this weekend’s clash with Yeovil in sixth in the League One table with only one league defeat since August.
And Kenny, who made his debut in the 3-0 league win over Rochdale and backed that up in their 1-0 FA Cup second round defeat to Doncaster Rovers last week, insists that automatic promotion is not out of the question for Lee Johnson’s side.
“I don’t know if there’s that much difference between League One and the Championship,” said Kenny. “It’s a very good standard and here at Oldham they knock it about really well.
“I would be surprised if they didn’t challenge for automatic promotion. I’ve barely been here a couple of weeks but straightaway you can see how they like to play.
“And the lads all feel like they have more in the tank. In my first game we were comfortable and everyone afterwards was disappointed with the performance.
“If there is more to come from this team, then I think they can be looking at the play-offs or maybe even more.”
And while Kenny’s time at Bolton is about to come to an end, the keeper is quick to praise the work of Neil Lennon in turning the Lancashire club’s fortunes around.
He might not have played a game for the former Celtic boss, but Kenny has seen enough of how Lennon works to believe that the Trotters can look forward to a brighter second half of the season.
“I spoke to Neil when the chance came up to go out on loan. He was reluctant to let me leave but I was very keen to play some games,” he said.
“When Neil came in he took on a squad that was already full of good players, but players that were very low on confidence.
“Neil is a tough manager who calls it how it is and is not scared to say what he really thinks.
“Since he has arrived they have had some great results and, to be quite honest, it could have been even better.
“When he came in they were second bottom, but things are looking up and that is credit to him.”