St Johnstone winger Matthew Kennedy is adamant that he does not regret rejecting Celtic and Rangers, when he left Kilmarnock to join Premier League side Everton in 2012.

The attacker made a big name for himself at Rugby Park as a youngster, and the impression he made was so strong that both Glasgow giants were keen on taking him before he eventually chose to move across the border to Goodison Park.

Kennedy spent three years at the Toffees, but never managed to make an appearance for the first team. After a series of loan spells he eventually moved to Cardiff City where he made more of a breakthrough, before being subjected to yet more temporary spells away.

All of this experience made him grow as a person, having left Scotland for England when he was just an 18-year-old. After impressing at League One side Portsmouth last term he decided to move back home in the summer to St Johnstone, where he is looking to revive his career once again.

It might all have been so different had Kennedy made the move to either Celtic Park or Ibrox, but he insists the life skills and learning he picked up with Everton was invaluable to him, and as such he does not regret his decision.

“When the Everton move happened, I had Rangers and Celtic interested.” He confessed to the Sunday Post.

“I had to decide to either stay at Kilmarnock, go to the Old Firm or head for England.

“A few clubs down south were sniffing and then Everton came in.

“I was in Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels’ office for the whole transfer window, with him begging me to stay.

“I really liked him, he brought me through and gave me a chance, but I couldn’t turn Everton down.

“It was a dream come true. Everyone wants to go to the Premier League and I was no different.

“I did well. I made the bench a few times and boss Roberto Martinez wanted me to stay.

“But my Under-21’s coach David Unsworth said I should go to Cardiff because I’d have a good chance of playing.

“At Everton, you feel you’re going to get a chance when you’re training with the first team every day.

“Then they’ll go and buy someone for £25m in the same position.

“Kevin Mirallas and Aaron Lennon were wide men at the time, Ross Barkley and Marouane Fellaini were in the No. 10 role.

“I still look back on that time and think I definitely improved as a player.

“I don’t regret not going to Rangers or Celtic. I achieved my dream as a young boy by playing for Kilmarnock.”

If Kennedy can continue to make an impression at St Johnstone, it could be that he eventually gets another chance to make a move to Glasgow, although for now his focus will be on delivering for the Saints.


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