Graham Carey

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Graham Carey
Graham Carey in CSKA.jpg
Personal information
Full name Graham Carey[1]
Date of birth (1989-05-20) 20 May 1989 (age 30)[2]
Place of birth Blanchardstown, Ireland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
CSKA Sofia
Number 8
Youth career
0000–2005 Shelbourne
2005–2008 Celtic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2011 Celtic 0 (0)
2009Bohemians (loan) 15 (2)
2010St Mirren (loan) 15 (3)
2010–2011Huddersfield Town (loan) 19 (2)
2011–2013 St Mirren 55 (3)
2013–2015 Ross County 58 (5)
2015–2019 Plymouth Argyle 174 (45)
2019– CSKA Sofia 12 (1)
National team
2009–2010 Republic of Ireland U21 6 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:40, 9 November 2019 (UTC)[3]

Graham Carey (born 20 May 1989) is an Irish professional footballer who plays for Bulgarian First League club CSKA Sofia. He plays as a left sided attacking midfielder.

Carey joined Celtic in 2005 from Shelbourne's youth team and made his Celtic debut in 2009 against Rapid Vienna in the UEFA Europa League, He has played six times for the Republic of Ireland Under 21 team, having been capped at all International levels from under 15. During his time at Celtic Carey had loan spells with Bohemians in the League of Ireland,[4] St Mirren[5][6] and Huddersfield Town in League One in England. He then signed for St Mirren permanently and in 2013, moved to Ross County where he spent two seasons.

In 2010, ex Scotland and then Motherwell manager Craig Brown, stated Carey "looks a real talent" and said he "is the kind of player fans like to watch".[7]

Club career[edit]


In 2005, Carey signed for Celtic from Shelbourne's youth set up. He made his senior Celtic debut as a substitute against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on 17 December 2009, a match which Celtic drew 3–3.[8] He was regularly named as a substitute for Celtic in the 2009–10 SPL season before being loaned out to St Mirren in February 2010, and English League One team Huddersfield Town in August 2010.

Carey was a regular for the youth team and reserves during his time in Glasgow and worked under Willie McStay, Danny McGrain and Neil Lennon.[9] He later said he was disappointed to have never made it into the first team during his time at Celtic.[10]

Bohemians (loan)[edit]

In a bid to get more first team experience for Carey, Celtic boss Gordon Strachan loaned him out to League of Ireland Champions Bohemians in February 2009. He played his first league match against Derry City on 13 March and scored his first league goal against St. Patrick's Athletic on 11 April.[11] Carey was deemed an instant hit and was described as the star of the show having impressed during the local derby against St. Patrick's Athletic.[12]

Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon was keen to extend Carey's loan deal which expired in July until the end of the season. The talented winger was also due to be out of contract at Celtic in July and was aiming to secure a place in new manager Tony Mowbray's team due to impressive performances with Bohemians and the Republic of Ireland under 21s.[12]

Carey was due to play on the left wing in Bohemians' Champions League qualifiers against the Austria Champions Red Bull Salzburg, but the loan deal could not be extended in time. He made 20 appearances and scored five goals in all competitions for Bohemians and capped his loan period by winning a League of Ireland Medal.[13][14]

St Mirren (loan)[edit]

Carey joined St Mirren on loan on 1 February 2010, until the summer of 2010.[5][15][16] He made his debut against St Johnstone on 10 February in the SPL. He came on as a 60th-minute substitute and curled in a free kick which led to the equalising goal for Michael Higdon. He was described as having "impressed" on his debut.[17] Saints manager Gus McPherson said in his post match interview "Graham Carey had some good delivery from the wider area. He's only been with us for a week and we hope he'll be a good addition for us."[18]

Carey scored his first goal for St Mirren on 6 March 2010, when he scored from a free kick against Rangers.[19] After the match, he said he copied Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick technique.[20] A few weeks later, Carey started against Rangers, in the Scottish League Cup Final, but the match ended in a 1–0 loss for St Mirren.[21]

Carey scored a 35-yard free kick against Hearts in the SPL on 3 April, and was commended by the St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson who said "It was a wonder strike from Graham. When he picks up the ball there's excitement as the crowd sense something may happen. He's always more than capable with his excellent delivery from set-pieces."[22][23] On 24 April 2010, Carey helped set up the winning goal for Andy Dorman as St Mirren beat Kilmarnock 1–0 and after being substituted, received a standing ovation from the St Mirren fans.[24]

Carey won the SPL Young Player of the Month award for April 2010 and St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson added that he was keen to keep him at the club.[25] His successful loan spell at St Mirren attracted interest from Premier League clubs Wigan Athletic, Wolves and Blackpool as well as Ipswich Town in the Championship. He was offered a two-year contract extension by Celtic.[26]

Huddersfield Town (loan)[edit]

On 14 July 2010, Carey signed on loan for League One outfit Huddersfield Town until January 2011. Huddersfield boss Lee Clark said "Graham will bring brilliant versatility to the squad – he can play anywhere up the left side of the pitch.... He has a terrific left foot and he looks as elegant as you would expect from a quality left-footed player".[27] Carey made an immediate impact with Huddersfield scoring a low left footed drive from 20 yards against Bury in a pre-season friendly on 19 July 2010.[28]

He made his first appearance for the Terriers as a substitute in a 1–0 win against Carlisle United at Brunton Park in the League Cup. He made his first League One start in the 4–2 loss against Peterborough United at London Road Stadium. Carey while playing as a left back, provided an assist to Jordan Rhodes from a well worked corner and scored a 25-yard free kick to make the score 2–0 to the Terriers.[29] On 28 August 2010, he started for Huddersfield against Charlton Athletic, on the left side of midfield and was awarded Man of the Match for his efforts, including setting up two goals during the match.[30]

Huddersfield manager Lee Clark wanted to keep Carey after his loan deal expired in January 2011,[31] but despite talks of extending the deal to the end of the season, terms were not agreed, and he returned to Celtic.[32][33] He made 23 starts and three substitute appearances for the Yorkshire club, scoring two goals.[33]

St Mirren[edit]

On 8 July 2011, Carey re-signed for St Mirren permanently, having had a successful loan spell in the 2009–10 season.[34] St Mirren Manager Danny Lennon said: "It's great to get Graham in. I believe in wider areas we let ourselves down last season and he has a left foot to die for. That type of quality is very scarce. He's an intelligent footballer and will be a major addition to the squad. He is very good in dead-ball situations."[35] On 11 December 2011, Carey scored what was described as a "blistering free kick" to earn St Mirren a point against Aberdeen.[36] He scored again for St Mirren to earn another draw against Dundee United on 28 December 2011 and also provided the assist to Thompson for the first goal in a 2–2 draw.[37] Following the match, the club's supporters named Carey as the Paisley 'Ronaldo'.[38] A few weeks later, on 17 January 2012, Carey scored in the fourth round replay of the Scottish Cup, in a 1–0 win over Hamilton Academical, to send the club through to the next round.[39] In the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, he scored against Hearts, in a 2–2 draw to earn a replay.[40]

In the 2012–13 season, Carey missed the opening game of the season, due to a hamstring problem.[41] In the Scottish League Cup Final, Carey come on a substitute in the 81st minute for John McGinn, as St Mirren won 3–2 against Hearts, winning the trophy for the first time.[42] He said winning the League Cup was "great experience".[43] On 13 May 2013, Carey's goal against Hearts in February 2010, was voted as the Scottish Premier League goal of the Season for 2012–13.[44] The goal has been described as an astonishing wonder goal, which was a 35-yard strike after he collected the ball from his own half, played a one two then hits the top right hand corner.[45] At the time of the goal, Carey's shooting skill was praised by Lennon.[46] while he described it himself as a "wonderful strike".[47]

On 15 May 2013, it was confirmed that Carey would be released at the end of the season by St Mirren along with Sam Parkin.[48] Following his release, sources revealed that Carey had wanted to leave the club in January and had request a transfer, but this was rejected.[49] He was also linked a move to England to kickstart his career.[49]

Ross County[edit]

After leaving St Mirren, Carey went on trial with Dundee United[50][51] After three weeks at the club, Carey's trial at Dundee United came to an end after the club were indecisive with their interests signing him.[52]

On 30 July 2013, Carey, alongside Brian McLean joined Ross County.[53] He made his debut, in the opening game of the season, a 2–1 loss against Celtic[54] In the next game, Carey scored his first goal for the club, scoring with a deflected shot from outside the area, in a 3–1 loss against Partick Thistle.[55] He then scored his second goal of the season three months later on 23 November 2013, in a 2–2 draw against Hearts.[56] Carey's third goal of the season came on 4 January 2014, in a 1–0 win over St Johnstone.[57] Carey made thirty-eight appearances, scoring three times in all competitions, having missed two league games, due to injuries.[58]

Ahead of the 2014–15 season, Carey signed a new contract with Ross County on 7 August 2014, just three days before the season started.[59] Under the new management of Jim McIntyre following the sacking of Derek Adams after five defeats, Carey played in an unfamiliar role as a left-back.[60] He scored his first goal of the season in a 2–2 draw against St Mirren on 25 October 2014.[61] Two weeks later on 8 November 2014, Carey scored his second goal of the season, in a 3–0 win over Kilmarnock.[62]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, Carey was released by the "Staggies".[63]

Plymouth Argyle[edit]

On 2 July 2015, Carey signed for Football League Two club Plymouth Argyle on a one-year contract.[64] Carey scored on his debut in a 2–0 win at AFC Wimbledon on the first day of the season. His scoring run continued with 4 goals in his first 5 league games for the club.

Carey enjoyed an excellent first season at Plymouth, scoring 12 goals in 46 games and winning the club's Player of the Year award.[65] Carey was also included into the English League Two Team of the Season for the 2016–17 season, along with teammates Sonny Bradley and Luke McCormick, after 15 goals and 15 assists in all competitions.[66]

On 29 June 2017, despite interest from other clubs and speculation that he could move on after his contract expired, Carey signed a new contract at Argyle keeping him at the club where he has gained cult status amongst the supporters.[67]

His 2017/18 season saw Carey transfer his excellent League Two form into League One, particularly during the second half of the season. From the 4-1 victory against Oldham Athletic until the defeat to Northampton, Carey operated as an inside forward alongside Ruben Lameiras to great effect. Between them they created more than half of Argyle's goal scoring chances and were directly involved in 26 of the team's 35 goals during that time.[68]

Carey struggled during the first half of the 2018–19 season, with his goal return falling dramatically. His inferior performances stemmed largely from a tactical switch by manager Derek Adams, which saw the Irishman operate from wider, deeper positions.[69]

He was offered a new contract by Plymouth Argyle at the end of the 2018–19 season,[70] but left the club after his contract expired.

CSKA Sofia[edit]

Carey joined Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia on a free transfer after signing a two-year deal on 11 June 2019.[71]

International career[edit]

Carey has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth, under-17 and under-19 level.[6] He has six Under-21 caps.[72] His debut for the Under-21s came under Don Givens in February 2009 at Turners Cross against Germany.[73] He scored his first goal at that level away to Georgia with an impressive 18-yard left footed strike after a clever one two with Cillian Sheridan.[74]

Style of play[edit]

Carey's preferred and most effective position is playing as a No 10 behind the striker, allowing him the freedom to move around the field and get on the ball. He can also play on the left or right side of midfield. He is very direct in his play and attacks defenders at every opportunity, while being a set-piece specialist his crossing has been described as "unbelievable".[13] While at St Mirren, Carey was used as a left back and as a wing back on the left side.[75]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played on 24 September 2019.[76][77]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Celtic 2008–09 Scottish Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10 Scottish Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 0 1 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Bohemians (loan) 2009 League of Ireland Premier Division 15 1 1[78] 1 2[79] 2 0 0 18 4
St Mirren (loan) 2009–10 Scottish Premier League 15 3 1 0 1 0 17 3
Huddersfield Town (loan) 2010–11 Football League One 19 2 4 0 1 0 2[b] 1 26 3
St Mirren 2011–12 Scottish Premier League 29 2 6 2 1 0 36 4
2012–13 Scottish Premier League 26 1 2 0 5 0 33 1
Total 55 3 8 2 6 0 0 0 69 5
Ross County 2013–14 Scottish Premiership 36 3 1 0 1 0 38 3
2014–15 Scottish Premiership 22 2 1 0 2 0 25 2
Total 58 5 2 0 3 0 0 0 63 5
Plymouth Argyle 2015–16 Football League Two 42 11 1 0 1 0 5[c] 1 49 12
2016–17 EFL League Two 46 14 5 1 1 0 2[b] 0 54 15
2017–18 EFL League One 42 14 2 2 1 0 3[b] 0 48 16
2018–19 EFL League One 44 6 2 0 2 0 1[b] 0 49 6
Total 174 45 10 3 5 0 11 1 200 49
CSKA Sofia 2019–20 Bulgarian First League 9 0 1 0 5[d] 0 15 0
Career total 345 59 27 6 18 2 19 2 410 69
  1. ^ Appearance in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ a b c d Appearances in Football League Trophy / EFL Trophy
  3. ^ Two appearances and one goal in Football League Trophy, three appearances in Football League play-offs
  4. ^ Appearance in UEFA Europa League



St Mirren

Plymouth Argyle



  1. ^ "Graham Carey". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Graham Carey". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  3. ^ "G.Carey". soccerway. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  4. ^ Bohemians' hopes suffer big setback as Carey loan deal ruled out Irish Independent, 14 July 2009
  5. ^ a b "Buddies capture Carey". Sky Sports. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b Ireland beat Andorra 3–0 to restore their UEFA qualifying ambitions FAI, 3 November 2007
  7. ^ Craig Brown gives his verdict on which of the relegation candidates can steady the ship Herald Scotland, 14 April 2010
  8. ^ Rapid Vienna v Celtic Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine ITV Sport, 17 December 2009
  9. ^ Lennon's Bhoys run riot against Chelsea[dead link] Celtic FC, 21 December 2009
  10. ^ "Carey: I was disappointed I didn't break into Celtic's first team, but it's behind me now". The Scotland Herald. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  11. ^ Carey goes on loan to Bohemians, 24 February 2009
  12. ^ a b New Bhoy Carey an Instant hit at Bohs Irish Independent, 15 April 2009
  13. ^ a b Heary Hails Carey contribution Archived 6 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine League of Ireland, May 2009
  14. ^ Euro Blow for Bohs as Heary and Carey miss Salzburg tie Irish Independent, 21 July 2009
  15. ^ Bhoys' deal is Carey reward Evening Herald, 5 June 2009
  16. ^ St Mirren star Graham Carey taking inspiration from ex-Celt Jim O'Brien's success at Motherwell Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Daily Record, 9 March 2010
  17. ^ St Mirren 1 St Johnstone 1[permanent dead link] St Mirren FC, 10 February 2010
  18. ^ Post Match Interviews v St Johnstone St Mirren FC, 10 February 2010
  19. ^ Rangers 3 St Mirren 1 Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Daily Record, 7 March 2010
  20. ^ "I copied Cristiano Ronaldo technique to bag opener at Ibrox, says St Mirren loan star Graham Carey". Daily Record. 7 March 2010. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  21. ^ Campbell, Andy (21 March 2010). "St Mirren 0 – 1 Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  22. ^ St Mirren 1 Hearts 1 Archived 7 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine Sunday Mail, 4 April 2010
  23. ^ St Mirrens MacPherson hails Graham Carey BBC Sport, 3 April 2010
  24. ^ St Mirren 1 Kilmarnock 0 Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Daily Record, 25 April 2010
  25. ^ Gus Pre Match Talk Archived 4 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine St Mirren FC, 30 April 2010
  26. ^ Graham Carey: I'd rather become first-team star at Celtic than make move to English Premier League Archived 2 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine Daily Record, 30 May 2010
  27. ^ "Terriers land Bhoys youngster". Sky Sports. 14 July 2010.
  28. ^ Huddersfield Examiner Celtic starlet helps Huddersfield Town draw with Bury Archived 27 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 19 July 2010
  29. ^ Posh peg back Town in thriller Archived 22 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine Sky Sports, 21 August 2010
  30. ^ "Huddersfield 3 – 1 Charlton". BBC Sport. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  31. ^ Clark seeks Carey extension Sky Sports, 10 January 2011
  32. ^ "Carey returns to Hoops". Sky Sports. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  33. ^ a b Graham Carey returns to Celtic Archived 15 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine Huddersfield Town, 13 January 2011
  34. ^ "St Mirren secure wing-back Graham Carey from Celtic". BBC Sport. 8 July 2011.
  35. ^ "St Mirren Boss Danny Lennon Hails capture of Celtic kid Graham Carey Capture".
  36. ^ "Aberdeen St Mirren Match Report". BBC News.
  37. ^ "St Mirren v Dundee Match Report". BBC News.
  38. ^ "Carey's the Paisley 'Ronaldo'". Paisley Daily Express. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  39. ^ "Scottish Cup: Hamilton Accies 0 St Mirren 1". Daily Record. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  40. ^ "Hearts 2–2 St Mirren". BBC Sport. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  41. ^ "McLean winning fitness battle for Caley Jags clash". Paisley Daily Express. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  42. ^ "St Mirren 3 Hearts 2: Buddies bounce back from a goal behind to win the League Cup Final". Daily Record. 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  43. ^ "So glad I stayed to win cup". The Scottish Sun. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  44. ^ "Carey SPL Goal of the Season Report".
  45. ^ "Carey SPL Goal of the Season".
  46. ^ "St Mirren: Danny Lennon hails shooting skill of Graham Carey". BBC Sport. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  47. ^ "Danny Lennon says Graham Carey super strike was worthy of Gareth Bale". Daily Record. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  48. ^ "Graham Carey and Sam Parkin to exit St Mirren". BBC Sport. 15 May 2013.
  49. ^ a b "Carey eyes up a move south of the border". Paisley Daily Express. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  50. ^ "McNamara closes in on young English duo". Herald Scotland. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  51. ^ "Transfer news: Graham Carey hoping to land Dundee United contract". Sky Sports. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  52. ^ "Dundee Utd: Nadir Ciftci closer to deal but Graham Carey misses out". BBC Sport. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  53. ^ "Ross County sign up Brian McLean and Graham Carey". BBC Sport. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  54. ^ "Celtic 2 – 1 Ross County". BBC Sport. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  55. ^ "Steven Lawless double helps Partick secure 3–1 win at Ross County". The Guardian. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  56. ^ "Heart of Midlothian 2 – 2 Ross County". BBC Sport. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  57. ^ "Ross County 1 – 0 St Johnstone". BBC Sport. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  58. ^ "Ross County assistant Neale Cooper admits he'll have to go into hiding if Staggies win Highland derby against Inverness CT". Daily Record. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  59. ^ "Carey returns to Ross County]". SPFL. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  60. ^ "New high-tempo football has Ross County buzzing, says Graham Carey". Daily Record. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  61. ^ "St Mirren 2 – 2 Ross County". BBC Sport. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  62. ^ "Kilmarnock 0 – 3 Ross County". BBC Sport. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  63. ^ "Ross County to release 14 players at end of season". BBC Sport. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  64. ^ "Take Good Carey Yourself". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 2 July 2015. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  65. ^ "Graham Carey crowned League Two fans' player of the year with more than 7,000 votes". Plymouth Herald. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  66. ^ "EFL teams of the season announced for the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two".
  67. ^ "Graham Carey signs new Plymouth Argyle contract". 29 June 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  68. ^ "Turning the Ship Around - Part 7: The Creative Void". Argyle Life. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  69. ^ "Myth busting: Is Graham Carey having a bad season?". Argyle Life. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  70. ^ "Jamie Ness: Plymouth Argyle release midfielder and offer deals to 12". BBC Sport. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  71. ^ "Ирландецът Греъм Кери подписа с ЦСКА" (in Bulgarian). 11 June 2019.
  72. ^ Four changes to U21 squad FAI, 7 September 2010
  73. ^ Rep. of Ireland 1 – 1 Germany Archived 18 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 10 February 2009
  74. ^ Under 21s Held by Georgia FAI, 14 November 2009
  75. ^ Rangers 3 St Mirren 1 Herald Scotland, 6 March 2010
  76. ^ Graham Carey at Soccerbase
  77. ^ "Graham Carey profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  78. ^ Includes 1 match not listed on Soccerbase or Soccerway: "Bohemians 8–1 Mayfield United". RTE. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  79. ^ Includes 2 matches not listed on Soccerbase or Soccerway: Hunt, Gordon (4 May 2009). "Bohemians 4 – 3 Shelbourne (After Extra time)". Extratime. Retrieved 27 August 2014. Meagher, Conor (19 May 2009). "Wexford Youths 1–2 Bohemians". Extratime. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  80. ^ "PFA teams of the year: Chelsea and Tottenham dominate Premier League XI". BBC Sport. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  81. ^ "Graham Carey wins PFA Fans' League Two Player of the Season award". Sky Sports. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2018.

External links[edit]