Johnny Kenny outlines Kyogo and Giakoumakis impact after bagging first Celtic brace
Celtic striker Johnny Kenny has opened up on his early experiences of pre-season after grabbing a double against Wiener Viktoria this evening.
The 19-year-old is taking part in his first pre-season under Ange Postecoglou since joining from Irish side Sligo Rovers back in January.
Celtic fans haven’t been able to catch much of a glimpse of the youngster, bar a handful of appearances for the B team last season.
Kenny made his first non-competitive start under Postecoglou this evening, up against Austrian third division side Wiener Viktoria.
Despite the lack of quality from the opposition, Kenny and the rest of his teammates kept the intensity high throughout the 90 minutes.
The Irishman even managed to grab himself a double in the opening 45 minutes, with two tidy finishes.
In the aftermath of the 7-0 win, the striker spoke to Celtic TV about his experiences with the first team so far, learning off the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis.
He said [Celtic FC]: “Yeah, it’s been good. Good to get out on the pitch with the first team for the first time and to obviously top it off with two goals and a 7-0 win. So, it’s been a good start to pre-season, but we keep going.
“For the first one, Mikey (Johnston) done well; I’ve played with Mikey (Johnston) before, and I knew he would find me at the back post – luckily, he did. The second one Berna whips it in, and I got a bit lucky but had to be alive to finish it first time.
“The gaffer wants us to press high and get after teams up the top end of the pitch because that’s where if we can capitalise on the press, we can get goals from it.
“The intensity levels are sky-high (with the first team), and it’s been very tough but very enjoyable at the same time. You’re learning off Kyogo, Giako and Albi. So, you can’t go far wrong.”
A big confidence boost for Johnny Kenny
Although the opposition may not have been the best tonight, grabbing two goals will provide Kenny with a confidence boost ahead of the rest of pre-season.
The Ireland under-19 internationalist has laid down an early marker for himself, and now he must show the coaching staff at Celtic he can do that against better teams over the next few weeks.
As Kenny mentions, he will be spending time alongside two proven goalscorers from last season in Kyogo and Giakoumakis. So, he must take as many tips from them as he can.
Celtic fans are certainly intrigued to see more from the youngster and what he can produce. The next challenge comes up against Rapid Wien this weekend.
By the time that rolls around, all the first-team stars are expected to be in contention, and Kenny will have a real battle on his hands when it comes to earning minutes.
But, if he can rise above that, he will be in a good place to go and impress further in Austria.