No Rangers stay temptation for 'star' Kai Kennedy as Hamilton Accies important step in development

Kai Kennedy was addressing the media after making his debut for Hamilton Accies in a 1-0 defeat at his former club Dunfermline Athletic when Pars boss John Hughes interjected.

Hamilton's Kai Kennedy in action against former club Dunfermline Athletic. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Hamilton's Kai Kennedy in action against former club Dunfermline Athletic. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

"You'll be alright,” Hughes said. “He's a star"

When it was announced ahead of the game that Kennedy had joined Accies on loan from Rangers ahead of their trip to East End Park there was almost an expectation that the diminutive attacker would be the man to increase the pain felt by the Pars following their 5-0 loss at Greenock Morton last week.

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The 19-year-old had made 15 appearances for Dunfermline in the first half of the season and there was a some surprise that he started on the bench, despite having only joined up with his new team on Friday.

Kennedy spent the first half of the season at East End Park. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

"No,” was Stuart Taylor’s straightforward answer when asked if he was tempted to throw Kennedy into the team from the start.

"The front three did really well against Partick [Thistle] last week. As much as we changed personnel and shape I thought the front three did really, really well and deserved to go again.”

Game time

For the player, he is just “glad” to be at Accies and out on loan once more.

Highly-rated, this is the teenager’s fourth loan spell away from Ibrox. He shone at Inverness CT but that sparkle was more infrequent in Fife, first with Raith Rovers and then Dunfermline.

There was no thought from the player about staying at Rangers and playing for the club’s B side in the Lowland League. Chat with those at the Scottish champions made it clear, it was about getting game time, and with a team Kennedy thinks will bring out the best in him.

“Having played against them this season I think they've played well,” he said. “The way they play football suits me. Obviously Saturday wasn't great but going forward it will suit me personally.

"It was simple, just get more games under my belt.I think that's what I need. I just need to start adding some stuff to my game.

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"I just got it done as soon as possible. We knew it was happening as soon as I got back. It wasn't the sake of a recall and then see what happens. It was going straight back on loan.”

Improve the squad

Accies are getting a player who can operate across the attack, either as a wide forward, winger or No.10.

Kennedy can be a captivating watch with his ability to change direction, create goals, get in scoring positions and generally leave opposition defenders flummoxed.

Accies boss Taylor said: “We're trying to improve the squad that we've got and trying to get players who fit into how we play, trying to improve every aspect of us. I think Kai does that.

"I do believe he will do really, really well for us. I think he's a great addition to the squad. I thought he worked really, really hard when he came on. It's always hard to go back to a team you've been at."

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