Paddy Kenny says he is excited at the prospect of settling into a new life as a goalkeeping coach at Sixfields - and insists he will only ever don the gloves for the Cobblers in the ‘worst case scenario’.
Kenny was unveiled as the replacement for the departing Carl Muggleton on Friday, with manager Rob Page revealing the 38-year-old will also be registering as a player.
But Kenny made it clear he does not intend to be any sort of competition for shot-stoppers Adam Smith or Ryan Clarke, and that it is just an emergency measure.
A new loan system will come into play in the new season, with only six-month or full-season loans being allowed, and Page is just covering bases with the registering of Kenny.
It basically means that if Adam Smith gets injured, and then Ryan Clarke is sent off and suspended, with the Cobblers not able to bring in a loan goalkeeper Kenny would be on hand to step into the breach.
“I am here as goalkeeping coach, but with the new ruling I am registered in absolutely the worst-case scenario,” said Kenny. “But I am just excited about doing my coaching.”
“As soon as I spoke to the gaffer (Page) and he offered me this opportunity, it is something I have always wanted to do with my playing career coming to an end.
“We have kept in touch over the years. We have been together football-wise for 10 years plus, but we have kept in touch, we have always got on.”
Kenny and Page were team-mates at Sheffield United between 2002 and 2004, and Page believes Kenny is the perfect character to have around the club.
The Town boss says Kenny ‘has a wealth of knowledge to pass on, and I know the keepers here will benefit from his work’, and the former Bury, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United man admits he has been working towards his first coaching role.
“Over the past few years as I have got older, when I have been training I have tended to have a little bit more input with the younger lads, and giving them ideas and helping them out,” he said.
“Once I started to that, I realised it was an option for me and I wanted to do it.”
Kenny, who has made more than 600 senior starts over the course of an 18-year career, hasn’t played a senior game since turning out for Oldham Athletic in December, 2014 (he and his team were on the wrong end of a 7-0 defeat at MK Dons), but he has spent spells as a back-up goalkeeper in the past 18 months at Ipswich Town, Bury and Rotherham United.
And he says the experience of sitting on the bench but not playing on a regular basis for those clubs has helped ease him into retiring, and starting a new career as a coach.
“Over the last couple of years I have not had much game time and have been on the bench a lot,” said Kenny.
“That has sort of gradually brought me down, and it’s not just been a straight big hit saying ‘that’s you done, you’re not playing’.
“I have sort of got used to it over the past few years.”
Kenny hasn’t yet met Cobblers goalkeepers Smith or Clarke, but he knows all about them.
“I haven’t met the keepers, this is the first time I have come down to the club,” said Kenny. “But I am looking forward to getting together with them, putting forward some ideas and working well with them.
“You see the season Adam Smith had last season, and he is still bascially a kid in goalkeeping terms.
“So I am excited to work with him, and we will see how things go.”