Western United welcomes the signing of experienced midfielder Neil Kilkenny ahead of the 2021/22 A-League season.
Kilkenny joins after spending the last five seasons in the A-League, first with Melbourne City and most recently with Perth Glory.
Kilkenny said he is excited to return to Melbourne and join the project at Western United, one that he hopes he can contribute positively to.
“Western United are looking to be successful and it’s a relatively new club so it’s an opportunity for me to help write some history in the A-League,” Kilkenny said.
“The attraction of John Aloisi and Hayden Foxe was a massive pull for me.
“Speaking to the club and knowing the qualities within the squad and the drive that the coaching staff has to succeed, aligns with my values. My determination to help the club achieve great things.”
Typically a defensive-minded midfielder, Kilkenny had an excellent 2020/21 season for Perth in a more creative role where he registered seven assists – the equal fourth-best total in the league.
Head Coach John Aloisi has identified Kilkenny’s versatility in midfield as an ideal asset alongside his quality and leadership abilities.
“Neil can do it all in midfield. He’s a great ball-winner, an excellent distributor and we know he’ll chip in with some goals and assists from there as well,” he said.
“He has a great engine, he gets through a lot of games in a season and can cover all areas of the pitch, and he will be the perfect complement to our already very talented midfield.
“Alongside that, his experience and pedigree in the game speaks for itself and he will be a massive addition to our dressing room.
“His last couple of seasons have shown that he is still getting better despite all of his prior experience, and his presence on and off the pitch will be a massive boost for our club.”
Born in London, Kilkenny had an extensive career in England. After playing in the Arsenal youth academy, Kilkenny made 18 appearances for Birmingham City in the Premier League before going on to play more than 300 games collectively in League One and the Championship.
Kilkenny played international football for England at Under 18 and Under 20 level before being picked for the Socceroos in 2006. He has gone on to play 13 times for Australia and also featured for the Olyroos at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Kilkenny comes in as a replacement player for the sidelined Sebastian Pasquali.