Ciarán Kilduff departs Dundalk for the United States
Lilywhites European hero says their season is far from over as he makes move stateside
Ciarán Kilduff has left Dundalk to join Jacksonville Armada. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
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 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.”
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 here 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 kick off their fall season league schedule this evening (Sunday) 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.