The pair played together at Birmingham City when Kilkenny was beginning his career in England back in 2004 so the Australian international is well-versed to comment on the influence the Newcastle Jets man has on his teammates.
"He's renowned for not scoring so many goals but obviously he helps other strikers score goals," said Kilkenny.
"You look at all his partners they've all gone on and scored a lot of goals and that's from the help of Emile Heskey - he probably doesn't get the rewards and the accolades that he deserves.
"I played with him at Birmingham City about five or six years ago and I know that he's a top player. It was great to play with him and he definitely had an influence on my career, especially as I was so young."