We take a look back at Kennedy’s Aggborough journey so far and why he’s decided to stay put….
By Matty Paddock - 23/07/2018
Posted 2 years ago
KENNEDY DIGIE admits new boss Neil MacFarlane has reignited his desire to fight for a first team place here at Harriers for the new season.
Towering defender Digie penned a new contract with the club before the weekend’s friendly with Birmingham City.
It extends the Aggborough stay of the locally-based 21-year-old for another year, having first earned professional terms in 2014 after graduating from the Academy at the club. Back then he was even the first Academy player to make a first-team appearance for the club when he came off the bench at Bradford Park Avenue in December of that year.
He’s spent much of the intervening four years trying to prove himself, both on the training pitch and out on loan, featuring for the likes of Hednesford, Stourbridge, Nuneaton and a number of others – packing in plenty of National League North experience in there along the way.
But he’s found first-team opportunities with Harriers more difficult to come by – ten appearances last season came mostly at the front end of the campaign.
I feel like he can bring out the best in me…” Kennedy Digie on Neil MacFarlane
Out of contract in the summer, then, it was understandable that the player himself sounded out other opportunities as he looked to get more action under his belt, the desire to do so fuelled further by the spell at Nuneaton that saw him play an influential part in turning around the team’s fortunes at Liberty Way.
But as Digie pondered the possibility of the Harriers exit door after spending so many years in Worcestershire, huge changes here in DY10 altered things dramatically. The installation of new chief MacFarlane afforded the powerhouse an all-new opportunity closer to home.
To say MacFarlane has been impressed by Digie’s raw attributes would be an understatement – the manager also keen to further refine his defensive capabilities.
“I think he’ll be an integral part of the squad – that tight squad that I’ve spoken about,” he said.
“In pre-season he has been really good and on the training ground I have seen improvements.
“…he has been really good and on the training ground I have seen improvements.” MacFarlane on Digie
“He’s getting fitter than he’s ever been and if that can relate to the work we’re doing with him tactically to make him a better defender then it will be good for him as an individual going forward, and for the team.”
Digie clearly feels revitalised by the situation he now finds himself in. With the likes of Fraser Horsfall and Jimmy O’Connor still to compete with for a slot in the eleven, his task is no easier – but he’s obviously ready for the challenge of the 2018/19 campaign.
“There were a few options,” he admitted, speaking about his future before re-signing. “But I’ve come in with the new gaffer and I’m enjoying working with him.
“I feel like he can bring out the best in me.
“I am delighted to see what happens this season, because he’s excellent.”