Connor Kennedy can’t wait to test himself in the Vanarama National League North with Kettering Town next season.
The tough-tackling midfielder has swapped Steel Park for Latimer Park this summer after joining the Poppies from Corby Town, for whom he had an outstanding last campaign in the Southern League Division One Central.
Kennedy made his first appearance in a Kettering shirt last weekend as he played the full 90 minutes against a full-strength Peterborough United side at Latimer Park.
And he featured again in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Bedford Town, which made it three losses from three friendlies for Nicky Eaden’s side so far this pre-season.
But Kennedy is fully focused on what lies ahead in the National League North and he insists the Poppies will be doing all they can to make the season about more than just survival after coming up as Southern League Premier Division Central champions.
“It was good to get 90 minutes in against a very strong side last weekend and I thought we did very well,” Kennedy said.
“For me, it’s been quite easy to settle in.
“The lads have been very welcoming and we are just looking forward to getting the season started.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me to test myself at a higher level and take the next step in my career. I want to play as high up the levels as I possibly can.
“And from the team’s point of view, I think we would like to do more than just stay up.
“We want to hold our own against some very big sides in that league.”
There have already been early signs that Kennedy and captain Michael Richens will be a fearsome duo at the heart of the Poppies midfield.
And Kennedy is hoping it is a partnership that will blossom.
He added: “Last Saturday was the first time I had met him to be honest!
“But it was good. He looks like a very good player and hopefully we will strike up a good partnership in there.”
A youthful Poppies team were beaten 3-1 at Rothwell Corinthians last night (Thursday) while the first-team players will be back in friendly action at Latimer Park tomorrow when they face a Northampton Town XI.