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Jason Kennedy ready to take Bradford City chance in JP Trophy
Jason Kennedy is keen to emerge from the Valley Parade shadows by showing Phil Parkinson what he is made of in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight.
City kick off their JPT campaign with a first-round trip to Hartlepool – and it is a significant evening for the back-up squad.
Summer signing Kennedy, in particular, has hardly featured. He started at Huddersfield in the Capital One Cup but has not even made the bench since.
That prompted the central midfielder to seek out Parkinson for assurances that he was in his plans – something the manager was quick to stress.
Kennedy said: “I went and spoke to him to ask if there was anything more I could possibly do. But he reiterated that I was doing well and I’ll get my opportunity.
“It’s frustrating but I’ve watched every game so far and there’s not much you can do.
“There’s a great squad of players here and there will always be one disappointed every week. Unfortunately it’s been me quite often.
“I’ve been round the block and know what it’s about. You can’t go round and sulk – but get on with every-day life and push yourself to make sure you’re in prime condition to show what you can do.”
Kennedy, who lives close to Hartlepool, could have been lining up for the home side as former City number two Colin Cooper was keen to take him back to the north-east.
The midfielder said: “I did speak to their manager but once I heard from this club, the opportunity to play in League One with this bunch of players made it an easy decision.”
Connor Ripley will make his debut in goal after agreeing to extend his loan from Middlesbrough until January. Parkinson has been impressed with the youngster’s attitude around training.
“I was going to play him at Huddersfield but just felt the day before he wasn’t quite ready and it would have been unfair to put him in,” said the City boss.
“He was disappointed but he agreed because every first-team game’s a big one. But he’s really looking on it at the moment and he’s in a good place.”
Parkinson will mix and match to meet the JPT selection criteria – but he is hoping those coming in from the cold can follow Kyel Reid’s example from the Stevenage game.
The Bantams chief said: “Reidy had been training exceptionally well, done everything right, and sometimes you’ve got to make those calls in terms of who looks hungry to play.
“He waited for his chance and took it. We’ve got to look for the same from five or six others tonight. We’ve got a lot of lads waiting eagerly for an opportunity since the Huddersfield game.”
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