From park to Premiership in six weeks

Li­ons mid­fielder signs for Is­raeli cup hold­ers

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BYDANNYCARO

FOOT­BALL JUST a few weeks ago Josh Ken­net was play­ing on the breezy park­land of Row­ley Lane. This week he clinched a dream move to Is­rael af­ter sign­ing a three-year deal with Is­raeli cup win­ners Mac­cabi Her­zliya.

If he proves a hit, the 20-year-old could be play­ing for the Is­raeli Un­der 21 na­tional team within months.

Ken­net played the whole 90 min­utes and set up the goal on his de­but in Her­zliya’s 1-1 draw in the Is­raeli Cup on Wed­nes­day night. He played the first half at right back and switched to the left flank in the sec­ond.

He also hopes to be in­volved in the forth­com­ing matches against Mac­cabi Tel Aviv, Mac­cabi Haifa and high-fly­ing Mac­cabi Ne­tanya, teams he trained with dur­ing the sum­mer.

Her­zliya, who won the Toto Cup, the English equiv­a­lent of the Car­ling Cup, last sea­son, cur­rently lie 10th in the Is­raeli Pre­miere Di­vi­sion with two wins from seven games.

De­lighted fa­ther Eilon Ken­net, who is the joint man­ager of his old club Lon­don Mac­cabi Li­ons A said: “I am very proud of Josh and so pleased he played the whole game on his de­but and set up a goal. He has done ev­ery­thing of his own ac­cord and we are all very proud of him.”

Ken­net be­gan the sea­son play­ing for Lon­don Li­ons and Lon­don Mac­cabi Li­ons A in the JC MSFL Pre­mier Di­vi­sion af­ter be­ing re­leased from Con­fer­ence side Ox­ford United in May.

Last sea­son he was loaned out to Did­cot Town af­ter spend­ing sev­eral months as an un­used sub­sti­tute un­der Jim Smith.

“To play pro­fes­sional foot­ball was a dream of mine and I’m now in the sit­u­a­tion where I can make it a re­al­ity,” he said. “Play­ing for a liv­ing and get­ting paid for it is some­thing I re­ally en­joy. There is a lot of hard work ahead but I’m de­ter­mined to give it my best shot.”

The North-West Lon­doner qual­i­fies for dual na­tion­al­ity be­cause his fa­ther was born in Is­rael and Ken­net hopes to push for the na­tional un­der 21 team. His elder brother, Ricky, also plays for Li­ons and rep­re­sented Eng­land at the Euro­pean Mac­cabi Games in Rome in July.

In­his­teens,Ken­net­wa­son­the­books of Spurs and Mill­wall. He is still dis­ap­pointed with how things panned out at White Hart Lane.

“Of course, it was a ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment,” he said. “But it has made me more de­ter­mined to suc­ceed and prove the doubters wrong.”

PHOTO BY DAVID KATZ

Josh Ken­net: played in two po­si­tions and set up the goal on his de­but

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