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Joshua Blake Kennedy (born 20 August 1982 in Wodongamarker, Victoriamarker, Australia) is an Australian football player who plays as a striker for the Australian national football team and Nagoya Grampus.

Club career

Josh "Jesus" Kennedy, a 1.94 m tall central forward, began playing junior football in his home town of Wodonga in Victoria, Australia with Twin City Wanderers and later SS&A Boomers. His talents won a scholarship place in the Australian Institute of Sport program, leading to a professional contract at new National Soccer League club Carlton in 1999, alongside fellow AIS graduates Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano.

After a season, he made a move to Europe transferring to Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. His debut as a substitute coming on five minutes from time in the 4-4 draw against fellow Northern German side Hamburger SV on 13 September 2000, at age 17 made him the youngest player ever to appear for VfL. It was his only appearance for the first team that year, and the following season brought little change for Kennedy as he managed just seven appearances for the Bundesliga side, starting only once. However, he scored two goals in the 2001–02 season, with his first ever Bundesliga goal coming on 8 September 2001 against Energie Cottbus.

At the start of the following season Kennedy was transferred to Regionalliga Süd side Stuttgarter Kickers, where he was a regular feature playing 23 games for the Swabian side. After just one season Kennedy left for Cologne where he joined (at the time) Bundesliga club 1. FC Köln. However he mostly played for their reserve team in the Regionalliga Nord, where he was the club's second-top scorer of the season with nine goals in twenty-three games.

Having just won promotion to 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, Dynamo Dresden were looking for a striker and found it in the then 22-year old Victorianmarker. This transfer, his fourth in four years, proved to be a vital one in Kennedy's career. He immediately found a first-team spot with the Saxonmarker side and played in all of the club's thirty-four league matches – again becoming the second-top scorer of his club with nine goals. The following season he was again an integral part in the club's fight against relegation scoring seven goals and setting up four. This attracted the interest of Bundesliga club 1. FC Nuremberg who signed Kennedy to a three-year contract, and of Australian national coach Guus Hiddink who called the previously uncapped Kennedy up to the Australian Squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In July 2006, during his first training session with Nuremberg, Kennedy ruptured his right achilles tendon.

On 11 January 2008, fellow German Bundesliga club Karlsruher SC announced the signing of Kennedy via an undisclosed transfer fee. He is contracted until June 2011. His first goal for Karlsruhe came on his debut against his former club Nuremberg in what would turn out to be a cruel twist of fate for the latter – just weeks after leaving them. Kennedy went on to score four goals in his first five appearances and was widely praised for his performances. However, following this stunning start he didn't manage to score in 21 consecutive Bundesliga matches and finally lost his starting position. After a further disappointing appearance in an important cup tie on 28 January 2009, Kennedy was replaced in the second half of the match and subsequently refused to shake hands with his coach. Due to this behaviour, he was thrown out of the squad. On 2 February 2009, Kennedy once again made negative headlines when he announced his intention to leave the club as soon as possible. After five months without any Bundesliga appearances Kennedy was finally allowed to return to the squad even though he still refused to apologize. On 18 April 2009, he was part of the starting line-up for the first time since his suspension. Altogether, Kennedy started 20 of his 23 appearances but – after 27 goalless games – was only able to score twice in the final match of the season which proved to be of no relevance because Karlsruhe nevertheless was relegated from the Bundesliga. On 17 June 2009 he signed a contract with Nagoya Grampus until 31 December 2011. Kennedy scored a goal on debut for Nagoya Grampus in his side's 1-1 draw.

International career

1999, Kennedy represented Australia at the U17 World cup and the Young Socceroos in 2001 at the U20 Youth World Cup in Argentina.

Kennedy received his first international cap in a pre-2006 World Cup friendly against Liechtenstein and made his mark in this game with a headed goal. He came on as a substitute in Australia's first 2006 World Cup game, in which Australia beat Japan 3-1 by scoring three goals in the last eight minutes. Kennedy was touted as Hiddink's secret weapon against the Japanese because he was taller than all of the Japanese defenders. He followed this up with a second appearance as a substitute in Australia's third Group Stage game against Croatia. Commentator Simon Hill announced on his arrival on the pitch in the match remarked "Here comes Josh Kennedy, whose looks have been likened to Jesus. Let's hope he can be Australia's saviour." It is common to hear fans shout "Call your dad, Jesus!" when Australia is behind on the scoreboard.

Injury prevented Kennedy from participating in Australia's 2007 AFC Asian Cup campaign. Kennedy was recalled to the Socceroos squad to face Argentina in a friendly on 11 September. On 6 February 2008, he scored his second international against goal Qatar in a World Cup qualifier held in Melbournemarker, his third against South Africa, fourth against Holland and his fifth against Qatar again. On 1 April 2009, he scored his sixth goal for Australia, Kennedy came on as a substitute on the 60th minute for Scott McDonald and scored a header against Uzbekistan giving Australia a 1-0 lead.

International Goals

Date Venue Opponent Result Result Competition Scored
7 June 2006 Donaustadionmarker, Ulm, Germanymarker 3-1 Won Friendly 1 (1)
6 February 2008 Telstra Domemarker, Melbournemarker 3-0 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (2)
19 August 2008 Loftus Roadmarker, Londonmarker 2-2 Draw Friendly 1 (3)
6 September 2008 Philips Stadionmarker, Eindhovenmarker 2-1 Won Friendly 1 (4)
15 October 2008 Suncorp Stadiummarker, Brisbanemarker 4-0 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (5)
1 April 2009 Stadium Australiamarker, Sydneymarker 2-0 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 1 (6)


Family

Kennedy is married to Australian national basketball player Jacinta Hamilton.

Honours

With Australia: With 1. FC Nuremberg With Karlsruher SC

Career Stats

  • last updated, August 1, 2009






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163||35||8||3||1||0||4||0||176||38
10||6|| || ||1||0||4||3||15||9
177||41||8||3||2||0||8||3||195||47


References



External links



1999-00 Carlton S.C. NSL 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2000-01 VfL Wolfsburg Bundesliga 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2001-02 7 2 1 2 0 0 1 0 9 4
2002-03 Stuttgarter Kickers Regionalliga Süd 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 1
2003-04 1.FC Köln II Regionalliga Nord 23 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 9
1. FC Köln Bundesliga 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2004-05 Dynamo Dresden 2nd Bundesliga 34 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 35 9
2005-06 26 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 27 7
2006-07 1. FC Nuremberg Bundesliga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007-08 12 1 2 1 1 0 3 0 18 2
Karlsruher SC Bundesliga 10 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 4
2008-09 23 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 26 2
2009 Nagoya Grampus J1 10 6 1 0 4 3 15 9

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