Kai Kennedy hopes his loan spell at Hamilton is the one that heralds a real breakthrough into the Rangers first team.
The 19-year-old joined Accies earlier this month after playing the first part of the season on loan at Dunfermline and made his debut against his old side in a 1-0 defeat on January 15.
He has had to get used to spells away from Ibrox as he continues his development. Last season he started out on loan at fellow Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle before dropping down to League One for a spell at Raith Rovers.
Kennedy is under contract at Rangers until the summer of 2023 and he is now aiming to impress at Accies in a bid to add to his soliatry first team appearance for the Ibrox side in January 2020 against Stranraer.
The attacker is determined to catch the eye of new Rangers boss Gio van Bronckhorst, who has shown he is keen to give youth a chance following 18-year-old Alex Lowry’s impressive debut for the Ibrox side in last Friday’s Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion .
And Kennedy said: “The feedback I got [speaking to Rangers]it was along the same lines as what I’m thinking: I need to be going back out there and getting more games under my belt to get the experience I need.
“In myself I know I need to be adding more goals and assists to my game to become a better player and that’s something I’ve been working on.
“I want to take that out onto the pitch.
“Hopefully in these next couple of months I can do that with Hamilton.
“It’s been excellent since I’ve come in and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.
“I can feel myself getting better and better here, and training has been excellent. I’m just looking forward to the next game.
“I’ve been training all week, I’m feeling sharp and it’s been good so far.
“The aim is to go back to Rangers and push for the first team.
“In all the loans I’ve had the same aim, but hopefully this is the one where I get it right and I’ll be working hard for that.
“I always have been [working hard] but I’m just looking to add numbers here and I hope that takes care of itself.
“It was disappointing last week but we’ll look to get better and we’ve been working hard to improve ourselves on the training pitch.
“I’m just looking to get goals and assists.”
Kennedy’s focus now is on helping Accies see off the challenge of Ayr United this weekend.
The Honest Men have yet to lose to the New Douglas Park outfit this term in three meetings – winning two and drawing the other – and they are now under new management in Lee Bullen.
Ayr could go level on points with Accies in sixth place if they pull off a victory in the Championship clash, but Kennedy is determined to put the club’s record right as they hope to increase their six-point gap from the bottom of the table.
“It will be difficult – every game is in the league – but this is a big one for us,” Kennedy admitted.
“We are trying to improve every week and come Saturday we will be ready.
“Every week the table will change and the focus for us is improving every week.
“If we do what we are doing on the training pitch in games, the games will take care of themselves.
“Hopefully we take what we are doing well into the rest of the games.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.