Stevenage’s Ben Kennedy on maturing and not being a hot head

Boro boss Darren Sarll. Photo: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Boro boss Darren Sarll. Photo: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Stevenage’s jewel in the crown Ben Kennedy believes he has matured since bursting on the scene at the Lamex Stadium and is now less of a hot head.

The Northern Irishman, who turned 20 earlier this month, joined the club as an academy player and made his debut as an 18-year-old.

The attacking talent, who has over 60 first team appearances to his name and is having his best season in a Stevenage shirt to date, told the Comet: “I’ve just been enjoying myself.

“I get on with the gaffer, as he brought me over here in the first place, and I want to repay him.

“I just want to play, score goals, create goals, better my season and hopefully we can push on and get in the play-offs.”

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The influence of manager Darren Sarll, Glenn Roeder and senior players such as captain Ronnie Henry has been huge on Kennedy who feels his development has come on leaps and bounds in the past 12 months.

“I have matured in a lot of things,” he said.

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“Last year I went home over Christmas for certain personal reasons, I was going through a lot of things, I got through it and feel I’m a better man this year and I’ve enjoyed myself this year, long may it continue.

“I feel I’ve settled down, it makes me a better person not being so nasty, I do like a nasty side to my game, everyone has to have one especially in League Two.

“If someone tries to boot me, I’ll stand my ground and go toe-to-toe with people; if Matty [Godden] gets a bad tackle I’ll have his back 100 per cent, but if I got tackled before maybe I would have reacted, where now I’ll get up and get on with it.

“It is a waste of energy and doesn’t really get me anywhere.

“If I get up and have a go at them then I know every time I get the ball they’ll try and hurt me and so it doesn’t get me anywhere.

“It would take my mind off the game where I’ll get in a little scrap, even off the ball, and I’d be concentrating on the scrap and not on the game.

“Now I’ll concentrate more on the game and the team, it’s something I’ve learned.

“The gaffer and Glenn have put in to me to calm your head and calm down, especially Ron and all the boys have helped me and I appreciate it.

“I feel I settle myself now, I used to be a hot head maybe a year ago.

“Now I keep myself to myself, I focus on my own game, I want to go on to bigger and better things as everyone does.”

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