Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy is ready to take the number one position in goals this season after a long time waiting in the shadows.
After the departure of long-term shot-stopper Ante Covic, Kennedy now has the opportunity to step up into the role and despite being sick recently, is chomping at the bit.
"I was a bit crook last week and had a couple of days off to get myself right," Kennedy said.
"I didn't want to take a bug over to Japan. I spoke to the coaching staff and they believed the best thing was to rest up and get over it."
The Jets next match is in the Asian Champions League against Nagoya Grampus in Japan next Wednesday and Kennedy is hoping he can take some of the things he learnt from Covic and use them in a game situation.
"Obviously, you want to play games," Kennedy added.
"But I didn't get too down on myself because I had a good keeper in Ante ahead of me.
"He was good for me. I learnt a lot off him and can now take that forward.
"I am a lot more ready this time.
"I have grown [physically], and mentally I am better equipped to handle it.
"My main problem back then was dealing with crosses. I have worked hard on that and learnt a lot from Ante.
"I know I have the ability.
"The biggest thing will be getting my head around playing again."