Despite a resounding 10-0 win over NPL Victoria opponents, Neil Kilkenny believes his side playing its first 90 minutes for the 2017 pre-season was the most important aspect of Tuesday night, as his side defeated Oakleigh Cannons.
The midfielder started in his traditional ‘six’ position, playing in the familiar linking role in the centre of the park and notching 90 minutes in the contest.
City piled on five goals either side of the break and although the 10-0 score line stole the headlines on the night, for Kilkenny and City, getting minutes under the belt without injury was the most important.
“It was more about the fitness than the result. We got a good blow-out for our first game and now we can move on to the next game and hopefully we can do the same,” Kilkenny said.
“I want to play 90 minutes every game this season and I’m not going to hide that. I love playing football and I want to carry on playing 90 minutes.
“We kept a clean sheet and defended well which was a key. We were ruthless in front of goal and a lot of us got 90 minutes as well so they are the positives but there is still a lot of work to do.
With a similar lineup to last year at the early stages of pre-season, Kilkenny stressed the importance of chemistry within the side and as the squad continues to build for the 2017/18 season, the midfielder is looking forward to the prospect of working towards a common goal once again.
“The squad is similar to last season where only a few new names have joined,” he said.
“Hopefully players can step up and perform. Last season we started well and faded away and I’m hoping we can carry that on and demand more form each other.
“Now though, it’s about keeping ourselves fit and making sure we are ready for all of the competitive games we play. I want to keep injury-free and get as fit as possible in the games that we have available.
Kilkenny and City will now prepare for its second pre-season fixture against Bentleigh Greens on Tuesday 25 July at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, kick-off 7.30pm.
The side’s first competitive match of the season follows as Warren Joyce’s side takes on Football Queensland’s Peninsula Power in the Round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup.
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