Conor Clifford

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Conor Clifford
Personal information
Full name Conor Paul Clifford[1]
Date of birth (1991-10-01) 1 October 1991 (age 22)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Southend United
Number 16
Youth career
0000–2007 Crumlin United
2007–2009 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 Chelsea 0 (0)
2010 Plymouth Argyle (loan) 7 (0)
2011 Notts County (loan) 9 (0)
2011–2012 Yeovil Town (loan) 7 (1)
2012 Portsmouth (loan) 2 (1)
2012–2013 Crawley Town (loan) 1 (0)
2013 Leicester City 0 (0)
2013– Southend United 31 (3)
National team
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland U17 5 (0)
2008–2009 Republic of Ireland U19 10 (3)
2009–2012 Republic of Ireland U21 12 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:33, 17 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Conor Paul Clifford (born 1 October 1991)[2] is an Irish footballer who is currently playing for Southend United. He is a former Republic of Ireland youth international and has represented them at under-17, under-19, and under-21 level. He has been called into the senior Ireland squad but is yet to play.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Clifford began his career with Cherry Orchard and Crumlin United, and played in the Dublin District Schoolboys League in Ireland.

Chelsea[edit]

Clifford moved to England in 2007 to sign for Chelsea as a member of their Academy.[2] He signed a full-time scholarship in June 2008.[3] He made 25 appearances for the youth team during the 2009–10 season, scoring three goals. After progressing into the reserve team, where he scored twice in ten appearances, Clifford captained the youth team as they won the FA Youth Cup. He scored the decisive goal in the final as they were crowned champions for the first time since 1961.[4] Clifford joined Plymouth Argyle on an initial one-month loan in October 2010.[5] He made his senior debut the next day in a 2–1 win against Huddersfield Town.[6] "I'm still learning the game, and it's all good experience for me playing in front of big crowds and with these lads," he said. "I just want to keep myself in the team and keep playing well for Plymouth."[7]

His loan was extended in November,[8] and he continued to play regularly before returning to Chelsea in December.[9] Both clubs had agreed to another extension,[10] but the Football League declined his registration due to Argyle's financial difficulties.[11] "What will be will be, but it's a blow," said Peter Reid. "I've got to say that. He's been a breath of fresh air. He's enthusiastic, presses the ball, and has been our leader for such a young man while Fletcher has been out injured; a tremendous character."[12] On 11 February 2011 Clifford signed on a one-month loan for League One club Notts County.[13] He returned to Chelsea on 7 April 2011, having made nine appearances for County.[14]

He joined League One Yeovil Town on another loan deal[15] and extend his loan spell in December.[16] During his second spell at Yeovil, Clifford scored in the second round of the FA Cup against Fleetwood Town. In January, Clifford would make his return to Chelsea after two months spell.[17] One month after his spell at Yeovil, Clifford signed a new deal, keeping him until 2013.[18]

At the start of 2012–13 season, Clifford went on a trial with League One struggler Portsmouth and join them on loan on a one month loan deal.[19] Clifford made his debut for the club in a 1–1 draw against Bournemouth on 18 August 2012 and scored his first goal in a 90th minutes in a 4–2 loss against Carlisle United. However, his loan spell at Portsmouth was short-lived after the club decided against extending his loan deal.[20]

On 4 January 2013, Clifford was released by Chelsea in advance, with the hope of quickly finding new clubs before hundreds of others find themselves in a similar situation around the country. Head of youth development Neil Bath discussed the thinking behind the move, "Conor came over from Ireland at Under-15. We've always given him support and help that comes with bringing someone from abroad without their immediate friends and family with them. I hope to keep in contact with him. He had a fantastic time in the Youth Cup for us, and his challenge is to adjust from youth to men's football. He's gaining some fantastic experience with the Irish national team and he's a gusty, determined, hard-tackling player, who has scored a lot of goals. I hope a club goes with him."[21]

Leicester City[edit]

On 18 February 2013, Clifford played in a reserve game for Leicester City against Birmingham City featuring in midfield and scoring the winning goal with a right-footed drive from inside the box. Clifford had been on trial at the club following his release from Chelsea in January 2013.[22] After featuring in a couple more reserve games for Leicester City, Clifford signed a short-term contract until the end of the 2012–2013 season on 9 March.[23] However, Clifford made no appearances for the club[24] and was released at the end of the 2012-13 season.[25]

Southend United[edit]

Clifford signed a two-year contract with Southend United on 1 August 2013.[25] Clifford was previously went on trial with the club for the pre-season friendly in Spain.[26] Clifford made his debut, in the opening game of the season, coming on as a substitute in the 86th minutes, in a 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle.[27] Clifford scored his first Southend goal on 5 October 2013 in a 2-0 win over Oxford United.

International career[edit]

Clifford was an Republic of Ireland international under-17, under-19 and now is currently an under-21 international for Ireland. He made regular appearances for the under-19s scoring three times in ten appearances, going on to playing for the under-21s.[28] On 10 August 2011, he was called up to the senior team for the friendly against Croatia and was an unused sub for the game. On 9 October 2012, he was called into the senior squad for their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Germany on 12 October.[29]

Honours[edit]

Chelsea

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Temporary Transfers of Players under Written Contract Between 01/10/2010 and 31/10/2010" (PDF). The Football Association. Archived from the original on 1 June 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Conor Clifford – Profile". Chelsea F.C. official website. Archived from the original on 5 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Academy to take nine full-time". Chelsea F.C. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  4. ^ "FA Youth Cup report: Chelsea 2–1 Aston Villa (Agg 3–2)". Chelsea F.C. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Clifford pens Plymouth loan deal". BBC Sport. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Confident Conor". Plymouth Argyle. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Debut delights for newboy Clifford". Plymouth Herald. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Plymouth extend Clifford loan". BBC Sport. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Clifford back to the Bridge". Chelsea F.C. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Clifford stays a Pilgrim". Chelsea F.C. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Plymouth Argyle | News | Latest News | Latest News | CONOR'S BLUE". Pafc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "Plymouth Argyle | News | Latest News | Latest News | 'I'D LIKE CONOR BACK' – REID". Pafc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "BBC Sport – Football – Notts County sign McDonald and Clifford". BBC News. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Clifford returns to Chelsea". Notts County. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Chelsea's Conor Clifford joins Yeovil Town on loan". BBC. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Yeovil Town extend loan of Chelsea's Conor Clifford". BBC. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Clifford makes Blues return". Sky Sports. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "New Chelsea deal for Clifford". Sky Sports. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Chelsea starlet itching to join Pompey". Portsmouth News. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Clifford exits Pompey". Portsmouth News. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "FIVE UNDER-21S RELEASED". chelseafc.com. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "U21s: City 2 Birmingham 1". Leicester City F.C. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Transfer news: Leicester City sign former Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford". Sky Sports. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Games played by Conor Clifford in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Southend sign Conor Clifford, Julian Bennett and Craig Reid". BBC Sport. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Trialists Don Cowan and Conor Clifford to train in Spain with Southend United". Echo News. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Baker, Andy (3 August 2013). "Southend 1 Plymouth 0". London: The Sun (subscription required). Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "UEFA.com – Conor Clifford – Profile". UEFA official website. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  29. ^ "Ireland call for Clifford". Irish Independent. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 

External links[edit]