Walsall FC v Harrogate Town: Brendan Kiernan has no point to prove against his former club
Walsall’s Brendan Kiernan doesn’t feel that he has any kind of a point to prove against his old club when Harrogate Town visit the Bescot Stadium on Saturday.
The 29-year-old attacker was released by Simon Weaver in the summer following two seasons at Wetherby Road, a spell which saw him contribute 14 goals and six assists in 76 appearances.
He was subsequently snapped up by the Saddlers and has gone on to establish himself as a key player, starting the vast majority of their games this term and featuring in all but one in League Two having been something of a bit-part player at Town during 2020/21.
Yet, while he is naturally pleased to be playing more regularly, Kiernan isn’t heading into this weekend’s contest with any thoughts of showing the Sulphurites what they have been missing out on.
“I think you normally do have a bit of a point to prove when you come up against your old club, but I don’t really see it like that where Harrogate Town are concerned,” he said.
“I think most of the boys and the people there know what I can do already, I don’t feel I have anything to prove.
“I’ve been starting a lot of games this season and that has benefited me and obviously I’m really pleased about that. I think any player would say the same, we all want to play regular football.
“I’ve got into a rhythm from getting a good run in the team and I’ve always backed myself to show my stuff when I’m given the chance to do so.
“But, Saturday isn’t about me, it’s just going to be about two clubs who are doing pretty well trying to get more points on the board.”
A popular figure among both his old team-mates and supporters alike, Kiernan is looking forward to renewing acquaintances after business is taken care of.
“Sometimes when a player leaves a club they might not maintain a positive relationship, but I’ve only got good feelings towards Harrogate Town – and I genuinely mean that,” he added.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for people who are still at the club and for the supporters. Will I celebrate if I score? I don’t know, maybe I should ask the fans. As I say, I respect them.
“Regardless of the result, it will just be nice to see some familiar faces.”
Arguably Kiernan's stand-out contribution in Harrogate colours came when made history by scoring the club's first-ever EFL hat-trick on his final appearance at Wetherby Road, a 5-4 home success over Cambridge United on April 30.
This season he has been primarily deployed as a left-winger for Walsall, who operate in 4-3-3 system, though he has also played on the right flank and as a number 10.
Thus far, he has contributed two goals and four assists in 18 appearances in all competitions.