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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

Everton Under-21s' recent friendly with Kilmarnock meant an opportunity to see old friends for former Killie winger Matt Kennedy.

The youngster came up through the ranks at the Scottish Premier League club but had to wait until he was introduced as a half-time substitute in Thursday's 3-2 victory before he could share a pitch with his former teammates once again.

But when he did, he showed exactly why he earned a move down south, with a bright display that helped the young Blues come from two goals down to win the game.

While the result was pleasing, Kennedy was just happy to be back in familiar surrounds.

“It was good to be back home, playing against some of the boys I know,” he said. “It was a real experience and I enjoyed it.

“The majority of the team they put out, and the lads on the bench, I know well and came through the ranks with. I was there with them for years so I knew more or less every player. It was good to come up against them.

“There were a few of the lads saying before the game that they were going to beat us and asking if I had my shin guards on! But that’s just banter and it was good to see them all.”

The week away has also been beneficial for the youngsters, who have made the most of a gap in the fixture list to spend time together as a squad.

“It’s been good to be back home in Scotland,” adds Kennedy. “People can understand me here! We’ve enjoyed being away. We’re all good mates off the park so it’s been nice to have a get together and have a bit of team bonding.”

Kennedy will next be in action when the second string travel to the Riverside Stadium for their Under-21 Premier League Cup tie with Middlesbrough on Monday 18 November.

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