Upon hearing the news of his retirement from professional football, Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop paid tribute to Josh Kennedy and his stellar career.
“On behalf of FFA and the Australian Football community I’d like to congratulate Josh Kennedy for his contribution to Australian football and in particular the Socceroos,” Gallop said.
“Josh will forever go down in Australian football folklore for his goal against Iraq to send the Socceroos to the 2014 World Cup.
“We wish Josh and his family the best of luck in retirement.”
Born and bred in the Albury-Wodonga region, Kennedy excelled as a junior footballer and was selected as member of the Joeys team that were runners-up at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand where they lost to Brazil in a Penalty shoot-out in the final.
Kennedy attended the Australian Institute of Sport and was signed soon afterwards for Carlton in the former National Soccer League for the 1999/2000 season. The following season Kennedy moved to Germany to join VfL Wolfsburg where he stayed for two seasons. During that time, Kennedy was also a member of the Young Socceroos squad which competed at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.
Between 2002 and 2004 Kennedy moved to Stuttgart Kickers (Germany), FC Koln (Germany) and Dynamo Dresden (Germany). In 2004 Kennedy was also selected as a member of the Olyroos squad for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in Greece. It was during his time at Dynamo Dresden that Kennedy was selected in the Socceroos squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup which was held in Germany. He made his debut for the Socceroos against Dutch club team VV Kloetinge scoring three goals in the 8-1 victory. His first A-International was five days later against Liechtenstein where he again scored in the Socceroos 3-1 win.
At the 2006 FIFA World Cup Kennedy made appearances against Japan and Croatia. After the World Cup, Kennedy transferred to Nurnberg (Germany) and then to Karlsruhe (Germany) during the 2007/08 season.
After missing the AFC Asian Cup 2007 through injury, Kennedy was instrumental in the Socceroos 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign and was rewarded for his with selection in the squad for the South Africa tournament where he made appearances against Ghana and Serbia. In 2009 Kennedy made a move to Nagoya Grampus in the J-League where he played six seasons which included winning the J-League championship in 2010, the Super Cup in 2011 and being the J-League top goal-scorer in 2010 & 2011.
Kennedy was also a key member of the Socceroos qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup scoring 5 goals in 6 matches which included the all-important goal against Iraq at ANZ Stadium which guaranteed the Socceroos a berth in Brazil. Ange Postecoglou selected Kennedy in his preliminary squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and he travelled to Brazil, but injury forced him out before the start of the tournament.
In 2014 Josh returned to Australia to line up for Melbourne City FC in the Hyundai A-League where he made 12 appearances and scored 2 goals.