Melbourne City FC has today confirmed the signing of Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy as their Australian marquee.
Kennedy, 32, will officially join the club in January after his current deal with J.League side Nagoya Grampus expires.
Beset by injury in recent times, Kennedy is looking forward to returning home to continue his career.
“After a long period abroad, the timing is right to join Melbourne City and I’m very excited about this project,” he said in a club statement.
“It’s a new chapter in my career, but my goal will be the same – to help my club achieve all of its aspirations. I believe Melbourne City has huge potential.”
Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip couldn’t hide his delight at the signing.
“Josh is a wonderful addition to the squad,” he said. “He is the right person and the right player for Melbourne City FC and we look forward to him joining us in January.”
“(His) record shows that he is a proven goal scorer and with the high quality of players around him, we are confident that he can create significant problems for defences in the A-League.”
Kennedy shot to fame as a member of the Socceroos 2006 FIFA World Cup squad. The beanpole striker was instantly given the nickname “Jesus” for his long locks and resemblance to the religious figure.
An integral member of the Socceroos squad in recent years, it was Kennedy’s header against Iraq that sealed Australia’s qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
At club level, Kennedy has prospered in Japan’s J-League with Nagoya Grampus after struggling to cement regular football in Germany. He was a pivotal member of the side that won the 2010 J-League title, claiming the league’s Golden Boot award in both 2010 (17 goals) and 2011 (19 goals).
However in recent years constant back problems have taken their toll and the Wodonga-born striker has been restricted to just 11 J-League games this season, with persistent injury issues also curtailing his ambitions of playing at a third consecutive World Cup in Brazil.