As Tony Popovic touched down in Western Australia, Neil Kilkenny was a player determined to prove his worth to Perth Glory’s new coach.
After falling out of favour at Melbourne City under Warren Joyce last season despite being fully fit, the midfielder found a new home in Perth and quickly impressed under Kenny Lowe.
“I was 100 percent fit at City,” Kilkenny told Goal.
“I think you saw that when I arrived at Glory because I hit the ground running.”
Scoring the equaliser against his former side and giving Glory some extra steel in the middle of the park, Kilkenny certainly didn’t take long to remind people why he was voted Melbourne City’s best during the 2016/17 season.
With Popovic arriving over the off-season, the Socceroo has clearly relished the chance to prove himself once again and has quickly become Glory’s most consistent performer.
Two vital assists against Central Coast Mariners ensured Perth avoided a major slip up atop the A-League ladder last month and he’s been a key spring in midfield for a side looking particularly sharp in the final third.
While dulled somewhat against Wellington Phoenix last weekend in a 1-1 draw, Kilkenny will be hoping Glory can bounce back as he prepares to welcome his former side to town.
Having celebrated his goal against City with some extra emotion last time they clashed, the Glory midfielder admitted regardless of the opponent, he’s not one to hide his emotions.
“I’ve always been a fiery character,” he said.
“No matter who we play I want to win and that’ll be the case on Saturday.”
With Melbourne City riding high after an impressive 3-0 win over Newcastle Jets last time out, Perth will be hoping to bring them back to earth as Kilkenny looks to remind his former side what they’re missing out on.