Kilkenny: ‘We’re confident. We know we have a good team’

City midfielder Neil Kilkenny says his side are ready and raring to go ahead of the season opener against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

The Club’s new number 8 is relieved the long pre-season is finally over, saying he’s looking forward to the chance to play for competition points.

“It’s been a long pre-season. I’m not used to it really after being in England for so long where it’s a 5-6 weeks pre-season but I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait,” Kilkenny said.

“I feel that we’ve had time to work on things and it gives us something to look forward to. We’ve been working very hard as a team to play the way we want to play and it will come good during the season.

“We’re confident. We know we have a good team but we have to put it together on the pitch and hopefully we’ll be able to do that. In our last competitive game, we pressed well as a team and did well as a team so we need to try and do that again and hopefully we can do that.”

Kilkenny joined the Club in July from Preston North End in the English Championship and has felt at home ever since.

City’s style and philosophy has been a pleasant change for the naturally ball-playing midfielder who has been used to the rigours of the English competition.

“It’s very different. I have really enjoyed it,” he said.

“Playing the way we are playing, we want to play and we are really enjoying the way that the manager and the coaching staff are getting us to play the game.

“I’ve been saying for years this is the way the game should be played and not many teams play this way in England. The ball is on the floor more and not as much as a battle as it is in the UK, I’m definitely enjoying it.

City and Kilkenny will travel to Wellington on Friday to prepare for the Round 1 encounter and believes a win in the opening round will be an important stepping stone to in a period that includes three matches in Melbourne, two of which will be derbies in the league and cup competitions.

“I think it’s not 11 players that win things, it’ a squad thing now,” he said.

“You get injuries, you get suspensions so as a team, everyone needs to know their jobs and as a team and coaching staff, we’re working on that to try and do that and everyone to know what they need to do as a team and as individuals to help the team get to where we want to go.

City face Wellington Phoenix on Saturday at Westpac Stadium, kick-off 5.35pm AEDT. See the match live on Fox Sports 505.