Kennedy on surprise new role at Worksop Town, managerial aspirations and the budget

Buxton FC v Worksop, Worksop keeper Jon Kennedy watches a shot just miss his goal
Buxton FC v Worksop, Worksop keeper Jon Kennedy watches a shot just miss his goal

Jon Kennedy has had a taste of football management and it’s only increased his appetite for playing.

The veteran goalkeeper was announced as caretaker boss at Worksop Town last week, following the news that first team manager Mark Shaw has been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Worksop confirmed in a press statement that Kennedy and the club’s assistant boss Lee Walshaw would take over in the interim.

The situation has come as a bit of a shock to the 36-year-old stopper, in his third stint as a Tiger.

“It was a surprise really,” he said.

“Obviously I’ve never been a manager before so it’s a bit scary at times.

“Me being the older player it was the natural thing I suppose. The gaffer brought Lee in so it was easy to ask him to come in a joint thing.”

Worksop have given no details of the nature of their investigation or reasons for Shaw’s suspension and while speculation will be rife both inside and outside the club, Kennedy insists the job in hand has to occupy the players’ minds.

“I think most of the players found out on social media, once one saw it they’d all seen it,” he revealed.

“Everything is up in the air, no one knows what’s going to happen.

“But like Lee and myself have been saying, we’ve got to get on with it and focus on the football, we can’t let what’s going on off the field distract us.

“We’ve got to get ourselves up the table.”

Kennedy’s managerial debut came on Saturday when Tigers drew 0-0 at home to Parkgate.

It’s fair to say his short career as a boss hasn’t enticed the former Sunderland man to hang up the gloves.

And on matchday he was grateful for the presence of former Sheffield FC assistant and long time Sheffield United coach Walshaw.

“I found it a lot easier just playing and it has made me want to play for as long as I can,” he said.

“Managing is not something I’ve got in my mind for the near future.

“I asked the club if I could ask Lee to assist me, I needed someone on the sidelines.

“The lads have taken really well to Lee and he’s got all the experience, I know all the players and hopefully it works out for however long it needs to.”

With Shaw suspended and the club’s new management structure not yet confirmed, it’s unlikely that Kennedy will be making any new signings for the playing squad.

And it’s his belief that the playing budget is currently a topic for debate for whoever is running affairs on behalf of recently-returned chairman Jason Clark.

“We’ve spoken about it, but it was more concern about the budget and that’s something the club are going to look at,” said Kennedy.

“I was thinking more along the lines of keeping the squad together.

“We’re having to wait and see.

“I think they’re looking at the financial situation, what it’s going to be for the coming weeks and if the club can sustain that budget for the forthcoming season.”

Worksop host the league’s bottom side Barton Town Old Boys tonight at Sandy Lane at 7.45pm