From park to Premiership in six weeks
Lions midfielder signs for Israeli cup holders
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.”
Josh Kennet: played in two positions and set up the goal on his debut