Born in England, Neil Kilkenny grew up in Australia before returning to England at the age of 11. His football career flourished in England and in 2006 he was eligible to play internationally for England and Australia. Kilkenny committed to Australia and was chosen in the senior Australian squad in the lead up to the 2006 World Cup. Kilkenny made his Olympic debut for Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. At 22, the talented midfielder had already played in the UK Premier League for Birmingham City.