Preston's Neil Kilkenny eyes promotion and Australia's World Cup squad
Neil Kilkenny is hoping to play his way into Australia's World Cup squad by helping Preston win promotion.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 24/02/14 10:50pm
The midfield schemer has established himself as an integral part of Simon Grayson's League One promotion hopefuls after joining Preston on a permanent basis in January after a successful loan spell.
The 28-year-old has made 19 appearances for Preston and has played a key role in helping the club to fourth spot in League One, just seven points off the automatic promotion places.
Kilkenny's performances at Deepdale have been earning him rave reviews and the former Leeds and Birmingham man is still hopeful of gatecrashing Australia's squad for this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.
Kilkenny missed out on the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals and he admits it would be a dream come true to play for his country on the world's biggest stage.
"It would be a massive dream for me to play at the World Cup," Kilkenny told Sky Sports. "I wasn't involved four years ago but I went to the Asia Cup and I felt I gave a good account of myself in tournament football and hopefully I can make a dream come true by getting into the World Cup squad.
Australia have been drawn alongside holders Spain, Holland and Chile in Group B and Kilkenny says he relish the chance of pitting his wits against some of the best players in the world.
"Obviously with the group we have got as well it would be an unbelievable experience and putting myself up against the best players in the world is something I would love to do," added Kilkenny.
Kilkenny is focused on maintaining his form with Preston and hopes it catches the eye of the Australia coaching team.
"Obviously if Preston North End keep winning games, obviously that promotes individuals within," continued Kilkenny.
"We need to keep going well, keep performing getting results and hopefully that will highlight performances for Australia."
Preston take on fifth-placed Rotherham on Tuesday night and Kilkenny insists they have not given hope of finishing in the top two and with it automatic promotion back to the Championship.
"It is a big game tomorrow night against Rotherham," noted Kilkenny. "They are right behind us and they are in good form themselves and obviously we need to keep our form going as well.
"Sometimes the teams at the top slip up at the last couple of hurdles and hopefully we will be up there in the end.
"All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and we keep winning games and we will see where it takes us."
Interview courtesy of New Era Global Sports