Matildas: Alanna Kennedy eyeing English title

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Having regained her starting spot at Manchester City, Matildas star Alanna Kennedy has no intention of losing it and compromising her preparations for this year’s Paris Olympics.

Kennedy has played the full 90 minutes in City’s past two English Women’s Super League games – 4-1 and 3-1 wins over Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.

“I was out through injury for a while, and being at such a great team, there are so many quality players around, so I’m happy to have got my spot back, and hopefully that continues through to the end of the season,” the 29-year-old central defender said.

“I feel like I’m always growing as a footballer at the club, and it’s a privilege to be around so many good players, and that helps with form coming into the national team as well.

“I just hope that I can continue to play and keep that form coming into the Olympics.”

Kennedy is also desperate to play a leading role in City’s push for the EWSL title.

Her team, which also includes fellow Matilda Mary Fowler, tops the ladder by three points from Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

“It’s in our hands to still win the league, so that’s definitely the goal,” Kennedy said.

“We have a turbulent couple of years. (We’ve) shown really good signs but then cost ourselves a season in some moments, so this year our focus has been on each game as it comes and making sure we get the job done and play to our standards each week.

“So far we’re doing a good job of that.”

City returns to EWSL action on April 21 against West Ham, but it in the meantime, Kennedy is focusing on the Matildas’ friendly international against Mexico next Wednesday (AEST) in Texas.

It’s Australia’s only match during the FIFA international women’s window.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get more sessions together,” Kennedy said.

“When we have two games, it’s always a quick transition from our clubs into game mode for the Matildas and having to taper into the first game and not getting too much tactics under our belt, so to have that training load and opportunity for us to work on things as a team is good.

“It’s a good opportunity for new players as well.”

Uncapped pair Sharn Freier and Winonah Heatley, as well as experienced attacker Emily Gielnik, were added to the squad last week following the withdrawals of injured trio Katrina Gorry (ankle), Clare Hunt (foot), and Courtney Nevin (hip).

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