Lisburn lad Ben Kennedy has put pen to paper on his first professional contract.
The 18 year-old netted his first two senior goals for Stevenage last weekend and was quickly rewarded with a pro deal, signed and sealed on Wednesday.
“I am a happy man,” he told club website stevenagefc.com. “It is a dream come true. I have always dreamt of being a professional footballer and today it has come true. It is all I have wanted since I was about four. The hard work starts now though.”
It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind for the local lad who made his senior debut, coming off the bench against Oxford United just three weeks ago. Since then, he has made his first start in the 1-0 away defeat to Mansfield and then got the all-important goals on Saturday afternoon.
Now with his dream deal under his belt, Ben has a promising future to look forward to across the water.
“I am usually a home boy and normally I would be home sick but I grew into it,” he told stevenagefc.com of his life in England. “I found it hard the first few months but once you get to know the lads, we are all like a mini-family so it wasn’t too bad.”
After making his debut last month, Ben had told the ‘STAR’ of his hankering for that contract. Little did he know how soon it would arrive.
“My next aim is just to keep working hard and take every game as it comes,” he said. “The next step then would be to be offered a professional contract when my scholarship deal runs out at the end of this season.”
Ben’s two goals helped Stevenage to a vital 3-1 victory over Hartlepool on Saturday, not only breaking Jeff Stelling’s heart but also going a long way to securing the affections of his own club’s support. When news broke of his new contract, one fan took to Twitter to predict our boy would become the club’s “record sale.”
For now, all he will be concentrating on is making sure he gets into Saturday’s squad to host Southend United.