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Dodds Buoyed by American Adventure......

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Sporting Life:

Jefferies - confident in Dodds.


Kilmarnock's Canadian midfielder Rhian Dodds insists his summer trip to the Gold Cup in America was not a waste of time despite spending all three games on the bench.

Frank Yallop's side went down to the USA and Costa Rica and a 2-1 victory over Cuba was not enough to take them through from the first group stages.

The uncapped Dodds failed to feature in any of the games but the 25-year-old was just happy to put down a marker for the future.

He said: "After the season finished I went to a camp for a week in Florida and I did really well and got invited to the Gold Cup.

"I was there for three weeks and it was a good experience, although I was gutted that I didn't get on.

"Hopefully it will come some time in the future, but it was good just representing your country and I was proud.

"To be fair, the manager said he couldn't promise me anything.

"He said that he wanted me to come and get a feel for how they work and give me some experience.

"It was obviously a different type of football but it was my first time at that level and I really enjoyed it.

"We will have friendlies this season and hopefully I will be involved then. The manager knows how I can play and he said I'll definitely be involved in the future, so hopefully it works out."

Despite having only a fortnight's break this summer, the determined Dodds denies he will be jaded when the Bank of Scotland Premier League starts back next Saturday.

He said: "I had two weeks off and then I went away but I feel fine. I didn't play as much as I would have liked last season for Kilmarnock. I had a few months on the bench so I feel quite fresh.

"The gaffer wanted me to get used to Scottish football and I think I've done well in the last few years so hopefully I'll play a little more this year.

"I'm not despondent, it's the best man for the position and if I'm playing well then I would expect to keep my place, as would the other players.

"There's no hard feelings, we're a good bunch of lads who get on really well and we just want the best for Kilmarnock."

Killie manager Jim Jefferies is confident that Dodds will play a major role for the Ayrshire club in the forthcoming campaign.

"He has been away for a while and his preparation hasn't been the same as the rest, but we won't push him, we'll wait and see what he is like but it won't take him long," said Jefferies.

"I don't think he'll start the season but I would think that he'll put people under pressure very quickly going on the two performances at the end of last season."

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