Aberdeen winger Matty has vowed to start 2021 with a bang in a bid to set up a dream clash against Italy.
Kennedy was glad to see the back of 2020 after a year blighted by the coronavirus and injury problems.
Now, as he readies to face Dundee United this afternoon, the 26-year-old is planning for a bright new year for club and country.
His dream is to force his way into Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough’s plans for the World Cup qualifiers in March.
Having earned a debut cap in the 1-1 Uefa Nations League draw with Romania in November, the attacker aims to become a regular for his country.
Northern Ireland kick-off their World Cup qualifying campaign away to four-time World Cup winners on March 25.
Northern Ireland then host Bulgaria in a group that also includes Switzerland and Lithuania.
Kennedy aims to test himself against the Azzurri, but knows he must shine at club level to be in the mix.
He said: “I got my first cap which shows if you are playing well the manager isn’t scared to throw you in to the side.
“I enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully there’s more to come as the first game in our World Cup group is away to Italy in March.
“If I’m playing well for the club the manager might pick me for that match.
“It would be a dream to play against some of the top players in the world.”
Kennedy realises the foundation stones in building his Italy dream come in the hard miles of domestic football.
That begins today in the traditional New Year, New Firm derby.
He said: “I would be buzzing to play against Italy.
“There is also a lot to play for at Aberdeen in the league and Scottish Cup, but we just have to take it as it comes starting with a win against United.”
As Kennedy saw out 2020 with the bells at Hogmanay, there was relief to see the back of a year where coronavirus wreaked havoc on Scottish football.
The game was shut down from March 13 until August 1 due to the pandemic, with the 2019-20 season eventually called prematurely.
Bar 300 season ticket holders at a Pittodrie test event in September, Aberdeen have played to empty stadiums all season.
Kennedy was only six weeks into his Dons career following a transfer from St Johnstone when football was shut down.
When it finally returned in the summer, he was ruled out for six weeks with an ankle issue.
He said: “It has been difficult as the team was doing well in the league and in the Scottish Cup semi-final before the first lockdown.
“That was just a few weeks after I joined, so it was a bad time for me and the club that the season ended at that point.
“Then coming back from injury during lockdown, then the Covid situation, wasn’t great, but I feel good now.
“I feel I’m playing well in most games now and the team are picking up results, so everything is positive.
“It’s been a good month for us in terms of results in a busy December, but we just need to take each game as it comes.”
There has been no respite during a hectic festive period for the Dons with today’s match the fifth in two weeks.
Dons boss Derek McInnes had the squad in for a training session on Christmas day before the 2-1 defeat of St Johnstone on Boxing Day.
Kennedy said: “It is difficult as there are a lot of games, so you don’t get much time for recovery but it’s the same for everybody.
“You just have to be professional working day-by-day to keep yourself right for every game, while dealing with the Covid situation as well.
“Obviously I didn’t get to see my family back down the road, which was difficult, but there are a lot of people in the same position.”