THE Northern NSW National Premier League has attracted its second former international inside a week after Adamstown Rosebud confirmed the signing of ex-Scotland defender Garry Kenneth on the weekend.
After Maitland’s recruitment of former Newcastle captain and Socceroo Matt Thompson, Rosebud completed the signing of Kenneth to go with the addition of foundation A-League Jets Stuart Musialik and Guy Bates for 2015.
Kenneth, 27, played twice for Scotland in 2010, first in a friendly against the Czech Republic then 90 minutes against Sweden, which included marking star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A Dundee United junior, the centre-back played 163 senior games for the Scottish club from 2004 to 2012, which included captaining the side in their 3-2 2010 Scottish Cup final win over Ross County.
However, Kenneth’s career has stalled since he suffered a knee injury while at English side Bristol Rovers in 2012.
After his recovery from a knee reconstruction, Kenneth returned to Scotland, where he played last year with League One side Brechin City then lower league junior club Carnoustie Panmure.
Looking to kick-start his career, Kenneth said he was excited about the opportunity to play in Australia.
‘‘When the opportunity came up to play in Australia, it was a no-brainer really,’’ Kenneth told the Herald from Scotland on Sunday.
‘‘I’ve got family there as well, my sister up in Brisbane, and when I spoke to them about coming out, they were very excited as well.
‘‘For a while I thought that was my football career over, obviously playing juniors in Scotland, but then came the opportunity to play in Australia at a good level and I was delighted with the chance.’’
Kenneth will fly out for Australia on March 2 to prepare for the season. His fiancee, Charlene Buist, and his daughters, Colby, seven months, and Miley, 5, will follow in June.
Incoming Adamstown coach Graham Law said Kenneth’s signing was huge for the club and the league.
‘‘He was marking Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the best players in the world, a few years ago, and you don’t get to that level unless you are a class player,’’ Law said.
‘‘He just had a bad injury, that’s all, that’s set him back.
‘‘I already know that if he plays to his potential, he’ll get snapped up by the A-League, but I want that to happen.
‘‘I’m all about developing youth, but I want premium players like that in the club and to establish Adamstown as a well known club again.
‘‘Bringing in class players will attract local quality, and that’s what we want.’’
After a difficult three years, Kenneth’s focus was firmly on Adamstown first and getting back on his feet in football.
‘‘I’m going to come over and do my best for Adamstown, and we’ll take it from there,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s an opportunity for me to get myself back in the shop window and back playing football at a decent standard again.
‘‘And obviously it will be a great opportunity to see some of Australia as well.’’