Matthew's Long-Term Goal
Winger hoping to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Naismith.
Teenage winger Matthew Kennedy has set his sights on following fellow Kilmarnock old boy Steven Naismith into the Everton first-team – but knows he will have to be patient to achieve his goal.
Kennedy joined the Blues from the Scottish Premier League outfit on Friday and immediately identified his 25-year-old compatriot as the player he plans to emulate.
Naismith himself burst on to the scene at Rugby Park as a teenager before becoming a mainstay of a successful Rangers side and a regular for his country.
Earlier this summer, Kennedy watched on with interest as Naismith completed a move to Goodison Park and like most has been impressed with the forward's early showings in an Everton shirt.
At 17, Kennedy accepts he will have to bide his time in order to replicate the elder Scot's career path but says the thought of one day running out beside him will remain a constant motivation.
"It feels brilliant to be an Everton player because it's a massive, massive team," the youngster told evertontv. "Obviously I've followed in Naismith's footsteps [by coming here]. He started at Kilmarnock as well so it's good for myself to follow in his footsteps.
"I've watched him since I was a young boy, since I was about 10. I've always watched him and I think he's brilliant.
"I can't wait to move down and get started now."
Like Naismith, Kennedy is a wide player by trade but a spate of injuries recently saw him forced into an auxiliary striker's role by his former club.
The switch proved a success but the Irvine-born star knows he has plenty still to learn.
To that end, a strong Scottish presence on the Everton coaching staff proved a large sway in his decision to move south and the youngster is relishing the prospect of working closely with the likes of Duncan Ferguson and David Weir.
"I'm an attacking player and I like to take players on," said Kennedy. "I can lose the ball at times but I like to take players on and create a lot of chances.
"I got my opportunity [as a striker] because of injuries but the gaffer said I took my chance. I was the top scorer in pre-season for Kilmarnock so that was brilliant.
"Now obviously I've come here and it's not just Scousers and English lads, there are people from back home who can support me and bring me on as a player."
After returning to Scotland this weekend, Kennedy arrives on Merseyside on Monday but will not travel with Alan Stubbs' Under-21 side to Arsenal for their game at Underhill this evening.
Instead, the youngster will be given time to settle and put a whirlwind week behind him.
He said: "I first found out before pre-season [about Everton's interest] but it was nothing serious. It wasn't until the last week that there's been more and more interest.
"I got up on Friday morning, went to training, didn't know what was going on, didn't think I was going to be an Everton player by the end of the day. But it's brilliant for myself to get it over and done with and I can't wait to get started now."