Kil­duff grate­ful for chance to pur­sue his Amer­i­can dream

Dun­dalk’s Euro­pean hero says their sea­son is far from over as he moves state­side

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - EM­MET MALONE

Ciaran Kil­duff de­nies that the tim­ing of his move to Amer­ica amounts to an ad­mis­sion by Dun­dalk that the club’s sea­son is over but says he is grate­ful to Stephen Kenny for al­low­ing him to pur­sue what he re­gards as an op­por­tu­nity both for him­self and his fam­ily.

“Dun­dalk’s sea­son is far from over,” says the for­mer Shamrock Rovers and UCD player who will join up with NASL side Jack­sonville Ar­mada as soon as he gets a visa to travel to the United States.

“Given the stan­dards that the club has set for it­self over the last cou­ple of years, it’s not sur­pris­ing that peo­ple might say that but the team needs to make sure that it is in Europe again next sea­son and to DO that it needs to fin­ish this sea­son strongly. There is also the FAI Cup to play for, that’s im­por­tant to the club, and next sea­son to be planned for. There is a lot to mo­ti­vate the play­ers there.

“Me go­ing has noth­ing to do with any­thing like that and I’m sorry to be leav­ing at a time when ev­ery­body is prob­a­bly a bit down af­ter the Rosen­borg games but it is a great op­por­tu­nity for me, the tim­ing is good in terms of my fam­ily, and I’m re­ally grate­ful to Stephen and the club that I’ve been al­lowed to take it af­ter it came up at such short no­tice.”

Whirl­wind

Ar­mada did ex­press an in­ter­est in sign­ing Kil­duff last sea­son, ap­par­ently, but news that they were keen to com­plete a deal again now only reached the player in the past week or so, he says, with things mov­ing at a bit of a whirl­wind pace since then.

“My agent Patrick (Clon­liffe) and the com­pany he works with, Full Con­tact, have a guy on the ground in Amer­ica and I think he might have been talk­ing to them since the end of last sea­son but I didn’t know any­thing about it.

“I did my re­search about it back then and it re­ally ap­pealed in terms of it the chance it would give me to maybe kick on with my ca­reer, see a bit of Amer­ica and en­joy a dif­fer­ent life­style with my girl­friend (So­phie) and daugh­ter (Ella) but I had a year left on my con­tract at Dun­dalk at the time so it wasn’t re­ally pos­si­ble.

“My lit­tle one is only two years old and so it’s a good time maybe to take her away be­cause in a cou­ple of years, she would have school to worry about. We can take her now and see how it goes for a bit. I’m not go­ing out there to en­joy my­self, though, or for a bit of tourism. “I’ve spo­ken to Richie Ryan and he had a spell at the club be­fore get­ting a big move to Mi­ami and it’s a grow­ing game out there, there might be op­por­tu­ni­ties to progress and at 28 it’s not like I’m com­ing to­wards the end of my ca­reer, I think I have some good sea­sons in me and I re­ally want to make the most of this.”

Ar­mada kicked off their fall sea­son league sched­ule last night and Kil­duff reck­ons it will be a week to 10 days be­fore he can join up with them.

“I want to get out there as soon as I can. I’ll have a full sea­son there next year but the games are slip­ping by and I want to be a part of it as soon as pos­si­ble.”

He leaves Dun­dalk af­ter two years, hav­ing won two league ti­tles and FAI Cup as well as hav­ing fea­tured in the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fiers and played a par­tic­u­larly key role in last sea­sos’s Europa League group stages. The club has strug­gled to keep up with Cork City this sea­son, though, and Sat­ur­day’s draw with Sligo Rovers means that the league lead­ers need only 11 points from their re­main­ing 11 games to be sure of win­ning the ti­tle.

It re­ally ap­pealed in terms of it the chance it would give me to maybe kick on with my ca­reer

Op­por­tu­ni­ties

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