Dunfermline manager Peter Grant is determined to ensure ‘special talent’ Kai Kennedy is equipped for the Rangers first-team when he returns to Ibrox.
The Pars snapped up the Gers prospect on a season-long loan deal last Thursday and the waspish winger made a thrilling debut from the bench in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Stenhousemuir.
Kennedy, 19, tormented the Stenny backline with his pace, dribbling and surges in to the box — affording the Fifers’ faithful a tantalising glimpse of what is to come.
This is Kennedy’s third loan spell in a year, having turned out for Raith Rovers and Inverness last term, and one of Grant’s aims is to make sure, in the fullness of time, the player adds to his sole Rangers appearance to date.
“I don’t want to send him back as a Dunfermline player,” said Grant, who saw his Dunfermline side paired with the Glasgow giants in the last-16 of the Premier Sports Cup.
“I want to send him back as a player who is capable of playing for Rangers,”
“We want to make sure he goes back a player who can excite people because there are not many of guys in the game now who take people on in one-vs-one situations like Kai does.
“Once Kai gets up to speed and understands the things that we are looking for — which are slightly different to what he is used to — we are hoping to develop a player who is more than capable of performing in their first team.”
However, for at least the next five months — for the loan deal has a recall clause in January, if necessary — Grant’s priority is ensuring Kennedy helps drive Dunfermline towards promotion.
“He is a fantastic talent and I’m sure that he will go on and excite our supporters,” the Pars gaffer continued. “As I have said before, the most important thing is getting supporters back in the door and exciting them.
“They spend a lot of money coming to watch games of football.
“It [Kennedy’s move to Dunfermline] has been a long drawn out saga — which is nobody’s fault — but I’m delighted that he is now getting matches in his legs.”
Along with Kennedy’s introduction, Dan Pybus come off the bench against Stenny and Reece Cole made his first start. Rhys Breen will officially join the club this week and, as Courier Sport revealed, Dunfermline have made an offer to Graham Dorrans.
Following what has been, at times, a protracted summer of business, Grant feels like his squad is coming together.
He added: “It is important that the squad is strong so, if we want to make a change, then it doesn’t take the quality down. We are getting close to that now.”