Ciarán Kilduff

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Ciarán Kilduff
Ciarán Kilduff.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ciarán Kilduff
Date of birth (1988-09-29) 29 September 1988 (age 30)
Place of birth Kilcock, Ireland
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Jacksonville Armada
Number 9
Youth career
Clane Boys
Kilcock Celtic
Maynooth Town
Shamrock Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Shamrock Rovers 4 (0)
2008Kildare County (loan) 35 (8)
2009–2010 UCD 51 (23)
2011–2014 Shamrock Rovers 82 (17)
2013Cork City (loan) 14 (11)
2015 St Patrick's Athletic 13 (3)
2015–2017 Dundalk 50 (17)
2017– Jacksonville Armada 23 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 17, 2018

Ciarán Kilduff (born 29 September 1988) is an Irish footballer who plays as a striker for the Jacksonville Armada in the National Premier Soccer League. He has played for six clubs in the League of Ireland throughout his career and appeared 16 times in European competition, playing in the Europa League group stages in two separate seasons. The first occasion was with Shamrock Rovers when they became the first Irish side to reach the group stage of the Europa League in 2011, and he was also part of the Dundalk team that qualified for the Europa League group stages after becoming the first Irish club to reach the play-off round of the Champions League in 2016.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kilduff played youth football in the Kildare and District Schoolboys League for Clane Boys and Kilcock Celtic before moving to Maynooth Town in the Brenfer League. From Maynooth Town, he signed for Shamrock Rovers at under 16 level and progressed through to their under 21 team.[2][3]

Professional career[edit]

Shamrock Rovers[edit]

Kilduff was highly rated at Shamrock Rovers as a youth player and after a prolific season at under 21 level, where he scored over 20 goals, Kilduff made the breakthrough to the first team. He made his debut against Derry City in the Brandywell in May 2007.[4] He went on to make a further three appearances in the same season.

As well as playing for the Shamrock Rovers first team,[5] Kilduff was a member of the futsal team that won the 2007 FAI Futsal Cup side [6][7] and later appeared for the club in the 2007–08 UEFA Futsal Cup.[8] His debut in this tournament took place in August 2007 when Rovers faced Politekhnik Yerevan. He made 3 appearances in the competition in total and scored 2 goals. Kilduff also travelled to Portugal with the Republic of Ireland national under 21 futsal team where they took on sides from Portuguese clubs S.L. Benfica and Sporting CP. He also competed in the Dallas Cup.[9]

Kilduff joined First Division side Kildare County on loan from Shamrock Rovers in 2008, following the path of Shamrock Rovers teammate Pádraig Amond who spent the first half of the previous season on loan at Kildare. Kilduff scored 8 league goals in 35 appearances and was voted the club's Player of the Year as well as finishing as their top scorer.[10] In addition to this, Kilduff scored three goals in the 2008 FAI Cup, coming by way of a perfect hat-trick against Fanad United.[11]


In 2009, Kilduff again moved from Shamrock Rovers to a First Division side, this time to U.C.D. on a permanent basis. He scored 16 goals in 31 appearances, finishing as U.C.D.'s top scorer and helping them to lift the First Division title and achieve promotion to the Premier Division. Kilduff followed this up with 15 goals in 35 Premier Division appearances the following season.

Return to Shamrock Rovers[edit]

In January 2011, Kilduff returned to Shamrock Rovers under manager Michael O'Neill.[12] He found league starts difficult to come by with 19 of his 27 league appearances coming from the bench. Despite this he scored 6 league goals in the season. In August 2011, Kilduff played an important role when coming on as a substitute against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League play-off round victory. His parried shot led to a winning penalty for his team as Shamrock Rovers became the first Irish side to reach the group stages of either of the top two European competitions.[13][14] He went on to appear as a substitute in five of the group games of the Europa League campaign.

In August 2012, Kilduff signed a new deal to keep him contracted at Shamrock Rovers until the end of the 2014 season[15] and in May 2013, he won his second Setanta Sports Cup.[16]

On 2 July 2013, it was announced that Kilduff would be joining Cork City on loan for the remainder of the season.[17] He scored on his debut, a 3–1 win over Sligo Rovers at Turners Cross on 5 July 2013, and went on to score eleven goals in 14 league appearances, including a club record four in one game against Shelbourne, as the club finished sixth in the Premier Division.[18] On the back of this form he was awarded the Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for October 2013.[19]

With his loan deal complete, Kilduff returned to Shamrock Rovers at the end of 2013. He was involved in the team a lot more during the 2014 season, playing in 29 league games for Rovers and scoring six goals.

St. Patrick's Athletic[edit]

Following the expiry of his contract at Shamrock Rovers, Kilduff signed a two-year deal for city rivals, St Patrick's Athletic on 11 November 2014.[20] He made his debut for the club in a 7–0 win against Tolka Rovers in the Leinster Senior Cup on 9 February 2015 at Richmond Park, coming off the bench in the 68th minute to replace Christy Fagan and scoring two goals . He went on to make thirteen league appearances for the Saints, scoring three goals in wins over Galway United and Bohemians, and in a draw against Drogheda United, however by mid-season Kilduff had become third-choice striker behind Christy Fagan and Jamie McGrath. Liam Buckley agreed to sell him, under the condition that he could not play against St. Patrick's Athletic as the title race heated up.[21][22][23]


On 27 July 2015 it was announced that Kilduff had signed for League of Ireland champions Dundalk for an undisclosed fee.[24] Stephen Kenny had long been an admirer of Kilduff saying he "has a very good attitude and is a very willing player. He gets all types of goals and that's what I like. I see him more of a French striker, tall, athletic and scores goals, one on one goals through the middle with his pace." He scored twice on his debut for Dundalk against Bray.[25] He proved himself to be an instrumental squad player in Dundalk's title winning year.[26][27] [28] He revelled in the turn around of being in the wilderness to being in the league winning team.[29]

In 2016, however, he suffered a major setback when he fractured his vertebrae in an accidental collision with St Patrick's Athletic goalkeeper Brendan Clarke. He spent 10 days wearing a back brace that left him housebound and unable to move to the extent that he wasn't even allowed to have a shower.[30] He expected to spend the season on the sidelines but with the help of the Dundalk medical staff he returned after only six weeks to play against St. Patrick's Athletic.[31] He was rested for the following game which allowed David McMillan to kick off a goal-scoring streak and cement his place as first-choice striker again. Kilduff had hoped to play against Legia Warsaw in the Champions League play-off round but missed out due to a serious knee complaint.[32] He did, however, travel to the Netherlands to play against second seeds AZ Alkmaar in their opening Europa League group stage match, and after coming off the bench in the 84th minute he went on to score a headed goal in the 89th minute.[33][34] This goal ensured a point for Dundalk's group stage campaign, the first point an Irish team has ever won in the group stages of European competition.[35] Reflecting back on what the goal meant for him and the League he said: "I've had a tough year myself, and this little league probably gets looked down on a bit, but it's a league with passionate supporters and passionate players. It's not just for myself or the team tonight, it's for the League of Ireland. Away from football, I've had a difficult injury-stricken season and I can't describe what a relief and what a great feeling that was for me tonight".[36] He emphasised the team's ambition to get out of the group rather than merely accruing money and was reluctant to be drawn on how the money would be spent.[37] His achievement of scoring in such a high-profile match against the backdrop of his recent recovery from serious injury saw him named the Irish Independent Sports Star of the Week on 22 September 2016.[38] He followed this up by scoring the winning goal on his 28th birthday against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the second Europa League group match.[39] Having come on as a substitute in the 64th minute, he latched on to Daryl Horgan's 72nd-minute cross to tap home the winner against Maccabi - a goal that is worth €360,000 in UEFA prize money.[40][41] Kilduff was rewarded for his display by being named in UEFA's Europa League team of the week on 30 September 2016.[42]

Besides his exploits in the Europa League he was also instrumental in Dundalk's road to the 2016 FAI Cup Final. He scored goals that knocked out Shelbourne and UCD on the way to the semi-final.[43][44] He then scored in both semi-final games against Derry City.[45][46]

Jacksonville Armada[edit]

On 31 July 2017, Kilduff signed with Jacksonville Armada of the North American Soccer League.[47]


Shamrock Rovers


  1. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff – UEFA player profile". UEFA. 24 September 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Interview with Ciaran Kilduff". Archived from the original on 24 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  4. ^ "Derry City 1 Rovers 0". 14 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Ciarán getting Twiggy with it". The Sun. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  6. ^ "FAI under-21 Futsal League of Ireland". 28 April 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  7. ^ "IRL Eircom U21 Futsal League 2007 - Play-off". 29 April 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff player profile". UEFA. 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  9. ^ "News". Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  10. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  11. ^ "Kildare County 3-0 Fanad United - RTÉ Sport". 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  12. ^ "Kilduff makes a Rovers Return". 14 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  13. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2011/12 - History - Partizan-Shamrock Rovers –". 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  14. ^ "Rovers march on in Europa League". Irish Times. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  15. ^ "Kilduff extends contract". 29 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Magnificent seven for Rovers to claim Setanta Sports Cup". 11 May 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Kilduff Joins on Loan - Cork City Football Club". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  18. ^ "Kilduff goes goal crazy at Cross". The Irish Examiner. 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  19. ^ "Kilduff is Player of the Month for October". Airtricity League of Ireland. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  20. ^ "Saints Sign Trio!". St. Pats F.C. 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  21. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  22. ^ "Ciaran Kilduff set to sit out Dundalk's clash with St Patrick's Athletic". The Irish Mirror. 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  23. ^ "Lilywhites make move for Kilduff". The Irish Sun. 2015-07-28. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Dundalk hotshot Ciaran Kilduff feeling the love from gaffer Stephen Kenny". The Irish Sun. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  26. ^ "There's a lot more to come from Ciaran Kilduff, says Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny". the Irish Mirror. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  27. ^ "Ciaran Kilduff has conjured a brilliant contender for goal of the season". the Irish Independent. 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  28. ^ "Best goals of the week". The Guardian. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  29. ^ "Dundalk v Limerick". 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Ciaran Kilduff makes quick return after broken back". The Irish Independent. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  31. ^ "Champions League: Ciarán Kilduff glad to be back for historic tie". The Irish Times. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  32. ^ "Emotional Ciaran Kilduff reveals Stephen Kenny's bold pre-match prediction against AZ Alkmaar". Irish Independent. 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  33. ^ "Dundalk earn historic draw with AZ Alkmaar as Ciaran Kilduff scores late". SkySports. 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  34. ^ "AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Dundalk: Late Ciaran Kilduff strike earns first EVER Irish point in Europe". the mirror. 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  35. ^ "AT A GLANCE". 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  36. ^ "Ciaran Kilduff back on top after a trying season". 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  37. ^ ""It's not about the money"- Ciaran Kilduff cuts to the chase about what really matters for Dundalk". 2016-09-28. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  38. ^ "Sports Star of the Week". Irish Independent. 22 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Birthday boy Ciarán Kilduff puts cherry on Dundalk's cake". Irish Times. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  40. ^ "Dundalk Players over the moon for Kilduff". RTE. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  41. ^ "Ciarán Kilduff The Dundalk Hero Again". Irish Independent. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  42. ^ "Who makes our Europa League team of the week?". UEFA. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  43. ^ "AT A GLANCE". 2016-05-20. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  44. ^ "Ciaran Kilduff keeps champions on track at Belfield". Irish Times. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  45. ^ "Dundalk 'ready and raring' for Cup semi-final". 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  46. ^ "Ronan Finn heads Dundalk into FAI Cup final". 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  47. ^

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