Match fitness key factor for Kennedy in signing dual Matlock-Worksop registration

Jon Kennedy pictured playing for Matlock
Jon Kennedy pictured playing for Matlock

Jon Kennedy says maintaining his match fitness was a key factor behind the decision to sign dual registration with Matlock Town.

The goalkeeper, turned interim manager at Worksop Town, agreed to play for the Gladiators during the break in games for the Tigers.

An injury to Matlock’s regular custodian prompted the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier side to seek out Kennedy’s availability.

Worksop haven’t had a game since February 8 and are not scheduled to take to the field again until February 25 against Harrogate.

It would mean two-and-a-half weeks without competitive action for Kennedy who was mindful of an old injury possibly flaring up.

He said: “It’s mainly because we’ve not got a game until a week on Saturday and we’ve not played for a while. The gap is about two-and-a-half weeks between games.

“I feel like I need to play games. When I tore my thigh, I need to keep playing to keep the strength up because if I don’t play I’m not going to be able to kick a ball.

“It’s different to kicking a ball in training to having to take goal kicks constantly. One time we had a break in games, the first one back, I couldn’t walk the day after.

“There’s a lot of stress on the muscle. It’s mainly to keep that going more than everything.”

And he said he wouldn’t do it for any other club.

Kennedy had made more than 200 appearances for the Gladiators during a four-year stay before he returned to Worksop in the summer of 2015.

“I know people at the club and I knew the goalkeeper was injured,” he said. “They’ve asked me ‘can you do us a favour on Tuesday’ and I agreed after speaking with Worksop.”

Further appearances may follow the clean sheet against in-form Grantham Town on Tuesday night, with Matlock home to Marine on Saturday and away to Skelmersdale on Tuesday.

“It looks like I’ve only got two more games to play for Matlock and then that’s it. I just needed that game initially,” he said.

“It could be this Saturday and possibly Tuesday as well.

“I think there are only four players in the squad from when I was there before. It’s like playing for a new team.

“I know all the officials and the backroom staff at the club. I know the managers from their time at Mickleover and we’ve spoken in the past.

“I didn’t mind doing it. Any other club and I wouldn’t have done. It was only because it was Matlock. The only other team I would do it for is Worksop.”

Meanwhile, Worksop saw a player leave this week with former Nottingham Forest man Kieran Fenton moving on to Basford United of the Evo-Stik League First Division South.

Fenton was one of the higher earners at Worksop and his departure will help ease the financial pressures currently on the club.

Kennedy said: “He came at the back end of the season and was a very good player for us. Anyone at the club has been available to move to another club if it came around.

“Connor Johnson was playing left-back until he went on holiday. Now Connor can come back in and play, it’s not like we have to go looking for a left-back.

“I know from the younger teams who we can step up. We’ve got this 16 who are going to be there ever week and then the youth team players if we need them.”