Date of Birth: October 7th 1993
Birth Place: Irvine, Scotland
Previous Clubs: Kilmarnock Youth, Brechin City (loan)
Killie Contract: Expires May 2020 (Contract extended Mar of 2018).
Landmarks: Debut on April 9th 2011, second half substitute for Willie Gros, at home in a 1-1 SPL draw with Inverness. First start on August 25th 2012 in a 3-1 SPL win against Dundee Utd at home. First goal scored was a minute into the second half of that Dundee Utd game on August 25th 2012.
International: 3 appearances for Scotland U19's. 4 Appearances for Scotland U21's.
August 26th 2012: “I’m glad to have taken my opportunity. I knew I was starting earlier last week so all my family were at the game – my brother brought about 10 of his pals and my parents were here too. When I scored and celebrated I didn’t even think about where they were sitting. It was such an easy goal. Hopefully I’ll get a few more like that. I know the gaffer is looking for a new striker but I just want to get a shot and take my chance.”
March 28th 2014: "I didn’t know whether I’d have been kept on as a full-time player so it was such a relief for me when the final whistle went and we’d avoided the drop. I’m not usually the kind of guy to run on to the pitch but there were a lot of youth team players there who were similarly excited. We all ran on to the pitch and it was mad. They were inside listening to the noise of the crowd and it was a full house that day. They were sitting down, slumped and listening for some indication of how the game was going. It was horrible at first but then great at the end although we definitely don’t want to go back there again. I’ll always remember Falkirk had a terrific chance to score near the end. It was Ryan Flynn, who’s now at Sheffield United, who had a go at goal. I lost the flight of the ball because I was sitting behind one a pillar but when I saw it again, a split second later, the ball was flying just over the bar. Who knows, but if that shot had gone in I might not have been at Kilmarnock to talk about this weekend’s game against Motherwell. I think the manager’s got a case there. We don’t really think about the consequences of what we are doing. We just go out and play football. You know what’s happening round about you but maybe we don’t feel the tension as much as the older players. I’ve played more first-team games this season than in any other campaign. I’m not happy with our league position but it’s been a good season for me on a personal level. I know that’s [debt relief deal] a big benefit and has brought a sense of relief to the club. But I didn’t know anything about it until the day after the bank plans were revealed. We’d been playing Celtic the night before and it was my mum who heard the news on the radio. There might only be seven matches left for Kilmarnock, but this time McKenzie is switched on enough to know they’ll all be tension filled for the himself and his team-mates. I think the play-off issue will go down to the wire. That’s good news for the neutral fan because it adds drama to the league but it’s not so good for those involved. But we don’t need to panic at Kilmarnock. I’d like three points at Motherwell but I think we have enough to avoid the play-offs. We know it’s going to be tough at Fir Park but we have players who can go there and turn it on. We know ourselves it hasn’t been good enough this season but Motherwell’s a big game and I think we can do it. But we all know after the split comes, and we’re playing the teams round about us, every game’s going to be like a cup final.”
August 21st 2014: "Motherwell's last two seasons speak for themselves. They are always up the top. But I feel this is a good chance for us, especially with people wanting to play on Tuesday against Ayr, they will need to play well on Saturday. I was involved at one at youth-team level and even then at Somerset there was a lot of people there. I was only young and Somerset was pretty full so I'm buzzing for it. I know the rivalry well. I'm enjoying playing wide right, I was playing through the middle in pre-season with Lee Miller and I enjoyed that, but I'm just happy to be playing. There are a lot of good players who are not in the team right now. It gives you more of a chance to play if you can play two or three positions. Ngoo brought a lot to the team on Saturday, he's that big and defenders really don't like playing against him. If that helps me with flick-ons and running on to things, then that can be good. With two big strikers we need to get balls in the box. The manager was good at that for Sunderland, getting balls in the box for the strikers they had. That's what he is telling us to do, get balls in the box and we will score goals."
August 23rd 2014: “We come in early and get breakfast together and it’s building the spirit. Sitting with the boys for a good hour before training builds camaraderie. We used to have lunch in Glasgow but last season there was a mix-up which wasn’t ideal. The travel is another thing. For the Ayrshire boys it was an hour-and-a-half up to training but now it’s nothing and the Glasgow boys get here fast. Most of the boys have nice flats in Kilmarnock now and most of the squad lives here. It brings more togetherness and that is going to show on the pitch. We don’t want the same season as the last and we are together to make sure it does not happen. Last season felt a bit of a rush job with signing players and some arrived in January too. It was tough to get the blend right but we made our signings early this summer. It’s so tight. Perhaps outside Celtic and Aberdeen you are fighting for every place. Aberdeen played a lot of games more than us before we met at Rugby Park 10 days ago and they broke on us well to score but there wasn’t much between the teams so this is going to be a good league.”
January 28th 2014: “The fans have been on our back recently and I don’t blame them. They were right to boo us because we’ve not played well enough over the past few months. But this performance [Partick Thistle at home] was much better so hopefully the fans will now get behind us. It feels like we’ve lost but a point is better than nothing.”
April 2nd 2015: "I had the injury for a wee while and I was just trying to play through it, But it got to the stage where I could no longer do it. I was waking up some mornings not being able to move it or get out of bed. But the physios were great, We tried a few things early on, I tried to come back and it didn't really go to plan. So I went to Dunfermline to get the process done. It was something I hadn't heard of before called PRP. They take blood then spin it around with some other ingredient in it, then inject it back into your tendon. Then they put shockwaves into your tendon to try to get the swelling away. The surgeon who gave it to me said all the top clubs are using it now. I have been training all week so I hope to be involved, even if I will maybe not start. You look at boys in other teams and they have got it, even though they train on grass, So it is just bad luck, basically. I hope he [Gary Locke] gets the job, I was probably only in the youth team when he was here as a player but he has brought a bit of enthusiasm. Everyone really wants to play for him. I have only played one game under him, but just from speaking to guys like Chris Johnston in the dressing room, you can tell he has brought confidence back into the team and that can only be a good thing. Bringing somebody [Kris Boyd] back with his quality would be great, I enjoyed it when he was here. It was tough at times - he would get on your back - but actually I think that helped me improve and I would love to have him back. If he is in the box and you don't pass it to him he is not happy. It helped me, nine times out of ten if you got him the ball in the box he would score, so he made me look good. He almost single-handedly kept us in the league that year if we get him back we know there will be goals - and that is something I think we have just been missing: someone to stick the ball in the net when it has been goalless."
April 13th 2015: "No one knows why we have dropped off in the last few weeks, It just seems in the first half we are good, and in the second things don't work - and vice-versa. It's vital we try and regain some form and put the relegation play-off to bed. If we had won on Sunday against Aberdeen, we'd have had a 10-point lead and that would have been quite a big gap for Motherwell to claw back.But now it's seven and we need to try and get back to winning ways or we could find ourselves sucked into that fight to avoid finishing 11th. They don't come much harder than Celtic away and it will be a tough match - but three points would be massive for us, especially with the games coming up after the split."
May 23rd 2015: "We want to enjoy this game for the first time in a wee while. I know how it feels to go into the last game of the season needing something, as we did last year with Hibs. It wasn't nice and I didn't want to experience it again. So that is the main thing, to go out and enjoy our football again, and hopefully get a win and finish the season on a high. The season has been a tale of two halves. It only feels like yesterday when we were talking about how good a start it was and where we were going to finish in the league. And then obviously the second half of the season we went into a nosedive and had to win last week to avoid the play-off. There was a lot of relief. We had been saying for weeks that we needed one win and it wasn't coming. Seven defeats on the bounce made it really frustrating and so it was a huge sigh of relief. It [Magennis/Hamill clash] has been blown massively out of proportion. I was watching from the sidelines and with the magnitude of the game, things got a bit heated. That is just the way they are. Two good guys to have in the dressing room. The next day we were all out having a laugh. They are fine."
July 17th 2015: “It was good to get a couple of goals but I knew I had to impress when I went on. There are so many boys fighting it out in my position so I have to take my chances when I get them. During the summer I knew that there would be players coming in and I had to get myself fit. I hope the fact that there is competition for places will bring out the best in me. You can't afford to slacken off. I've said before that I love playing alongside Kris and we get on well off the park. I set up a few of his goals the last time he was here and your standard needs to be high. If you get the ball in the box he will score and I can learn a lot from him. I want to work on scoring more goals – and there is no better person than Kris for that. We didn't finish last season the way we wanted. But new players and new backroom staff coming in means there is now a freshness about the place.”
July 28th 2015: "It was massive, at the time I didn’t expect to break through that young. The biggest thing was going out on loan…that was a turning point for me I think. He [Kris Boyd] was massive, not just for my development but for the team in general, last time he was here he scored 22, 23 goals, so for the team he was really important. For me as well he is great to play alongside. He makes myself look good, if I put the ball in the box for him he’ll score goals. It was perfect me playing golf outside of football, if I’d took golf too serious it would get to me too much. At the time I’d have liked to have gone and studied and played golf in America at the same time, but I don’t think I was ever good enough to turn professional"
September 19th 2015: "It was massive, we got off to a slow start today but last week certainly gave us the kick up the backside we needed and I felt we took last week into today. In previous games we have conceded early and crumbled under the pressure but today I felt that even before the goal we were dominating play. The top six has got to be the aim but the fact we are talking about winning more games is a positive because a few weeks ago we were down in the dumps and everyone was on our backs. But we can't get ahead of ourselves. [on the winning goal] I'm taking it, Willie Collum put it down as my goal so it's my goal, You have to take everything you are given but I'm definitely claiming it. It had been a while since we had won here in the league so the manager said we had to get the fans on board and I feel we've done that today." - BBC, Liam McLeod, September 19th 2015
October 29th 2015: "I just spoke to the manager for five minutes on Tuesday [about a new contract] so it’s nothing more than that so we’ll see what happens. I’m really pleased, it’s been a massive difference from last year. The turn in form has given the whole place a lift and that’s what we really needed. It makes a huge difference if you're having fun out there, you turn in good performances which I'm trying to do. Josh is high in confidence after being away with Northern Ireland but the three of us are doing well behind him. We're all similar players and like to get on the ball. For most of the games we've been on the front foot so we're just trying to do well and score goals." - STV, 29th October 2015
November 25th 2015: "It’s probably the worst I’ve felt to be fair, on Saturday night I knew it was bad. I had never pulled a muscle before but you know when it’s a bad one. I was pretty gutted. Stuart Armstrong went to cross the ball and I stuck out my leg to try and block it. I just felt a shooting pain straight away. I just knew it wasn’t good. I was just really enjoying it as well, I was enjoying my football. Last season was difficult as I got off to a good start and then had an injury. I was just having fun, every Saturday I was enjoying it. Even sometimes we were getting beat but I felt we were playing okay. That’s the biggest thing I’ve tried to do this season, just have fun and chill out a wee bit. The leg has been iced from 9am to midday, I can’t get my head around not playing but it’s happened now. I had tendonitis last year and that was hard. It’s just the way it happened, I’ve never pulled a muscle before and it’s going to be a long six weeks. [On consistency] It’s always been the same, Mark O’Hara and I were saying when we beat Celtic last season, I think we played Inverness here the next week and got beat 2-0. We seem to do well against the better teams and in games Kilmarnock are expected to win we don’t win. It’s strange. If Saturday’s result is going to mean anything we really need to win the next games. I was offered a new deal a couple of weeks ago, so it’s just at the first stage just now. I’ve not signed anything and we’re looking over it. I’d love to try something different but whether it’s right now or in the future I don’t know. That’s why I’m so gutted about this injury because I was playing every week, I was becoming a regular and now I’m out for a few weeks. The main thing is to play and that’s what I’m getting here." - The Herald, Neil Cameron, 24th November 2015
June 22nd 2016: “Boys I’ve played with all through the youth teams have left so it’ll be strange playing against some of them next season, I’m not saying we needed to get rid of them, but something needs to change at the club because it has been the same over the last three years. We’ve been fighting against relegation and I think a fresh start is what is needed here. When it’s really busy coming out for the warm–up it does make a difference. The start against Falkirk showed that I think. The fans were right behind us and we were two goals up within five minutes. But it’s up to us. If we can get a good start this season then hopefully it’ll bring a few fans back. Sometimes you can hear individuals shouting when it’s quiet! But the bigger crowds certainly make a difference and it’s important we work to bring them back.” - Kilmarnock Standard, David Wren, 22nd June 2016
Sept 22nd 2016: "Kris (Boyd) has been so brave. It's been a tough week for him. We were all at his brother's funeral on Thursday, and Kris has done really well to come through and play as good as he has. It's no surprise to me he scored. I'm surprised he didn't score last week, his finishing is that good. He's someone who is going to score for us most weeks. When you have Boydy in your team you know he's going to score. We're disappointed we only took a point. It was a soft goal to concede that late on, we must defend better."
Feb 15th 2017 On Lee Clark's sudden Departure: “It was a big shock. We’d just gone into training as normal then a meeting was called for half 12. He just told us. We had absolutely no inkling what was going to be said. But he spoke well and told us he was heading down south after a job had come up. He said he felt it was a great chance for him. You can’t knock him for taking it, he’s done a good job at Killie so good luck to him. The manager had an aura about him and you knew where you stood with him. You knew he was the man in charge and I really liked that about him. You knew your place and he was honest with you. I got on with him really well. He was the first manager to play me where I wanted to play. He’s played me in the middle of the park and I’ve really enjoyed it. I feel I’ve done quite well there. Before at Killie it’s been the manager getting the sack. This time it’s his decision.
Feb 16th 2018 on the Dee Comeback Win: “I was out for lunch last Sunday with some of my family and it felt strange talking to them about a Killie team that’s been winning over the last two months. Usually they ask me how I’m getting on and the stock reply is not too good. But in the last two months all we’ve been talking about is winning matches. The change has been huge. The whole place has been lifted. It’s night and day. The way the manager goes about his business at training, you want to impress him. We’ve a very good squad of players all of a sudden and we know if we’re not at it we won’t play on a Saturday. Everything has been lifted and it’s a good place to be. Can I afford to buy lunch for the family now with all the win bonuses? I don’t know about that. I have a house to build!”
“The way things have been going of late shows we’ve got a real belief. When Gaz (Dicker) got sent off there was a change. I think Dundee thought it was too easy and the game just changed. We were the better side for the last half hour. The crowd were on our side and it was a really good feeling. It’s the best I’ve felt at Rugby Park in all my time here and it tops off a fine few weeks for us. The turnaround has been huge. We’ve not looked back since the Hibs game when we actually lost at home but the fans were on their feet. The stand was almost full for the Scottish Cup game against Brora Rangers and the manager has brought the feelgood factor back.
“Sometimes I look at him (Steve Clarke) and I remember him from the TV on Match of the Day. Now he is here at Kilmarnock. The players listen to every word he says. The experience he has can only benefit us.
Mar 30th 2018: "It means a lot, it's never nice being out of contract and thinking what is happening next? It's good to have the next two years sorted and be able to plan for the future. It didn't affect me on the pitch but I have few things going on outside of football and I wanted to get it sorted for those reasons. Deep down I knew what I wanted and I'm glad that it has happened. I stay in Troon and you go down the town and you tend to meet people. You tend to meet people when things aren't going too well but in the last few months you don't mind stopping chatting to people about football and the turnaround has been absolutely massive. Since the first day he (Steve Clarke) came in it has been really good. We are so organised, training every day is so sharp with the gaffer and Alex [Dyer]. It's night and day to what it was before and I think the results prove that as well. Everyone had a chat with the manager when he first came in and he told me where he thought was best for me and it's good to have a position finally nailed down. We have such a good squad that you might be needed in a couple of positions but every player knows where they are going to play. Since I've been here I've never felt anything like this. It's been quite negative in the last few years and it's a nice change from what has gone before."
Oct 26th 2018: "In all honesty, I've not thought about the title at all until being asked the question now. We're not thinking about that. Things can change in an instant. We'll just see where our start takes us. But there definitely seems to be something different happening this season. I think the league has been great this season. Teams are taking points off everybody. Rangers and Celtic aren't where they want to be and Hearts are flying. Hibs are up there too. That's better for everybody. Could this be the season somebody else emerges to win the title? I'd like to think so. It's not been done in a while but all you have to do is look at Leicester and how they did it. I don't see why that can't happen up here. You look at Hearts, they just keep winning. We keep winning and if we continue that, it will be a fun season. I saw them against St Mirren and they were excellent. I then sent a scout to watch them against Hibs and he said they weren't very good that day, so it's been a mixed bag. But against Rangers they competed very well and looked like they could nick the three points at one stage".