Kevin Braniff

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Kevin Braniff
Personal information
Full name Kevin Robert Braniff[1]
Date of birth (1983-03-04) 4 March 1983 (age 34)
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Playing position Striker/Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Ballymena United
Number 24
Youth career
000?–2000 Millwall
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2006 Millwall 55 (5)
2004 Rushden & Diamonds (loan) 12 (3)
2004–2005 Canvey Island (loan) 4 (1)
2006–2014 Portadown 204 (81)
2014 Port Melbourne Sharks 8 (4)
2014–2017 Glenavon 70 (26)
2017- Ballymena United 8 (0)
National team
2002–2005 Northern Ireland U21 11 (1)
2004 Northern Ireland U23 1 (0)
2010 Northern Ireland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:32, 16 January 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:03, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Kevin Robert Braniff (born 1983) is a Northern Irish association football player who currently plays for Ballymena United in the NIFL Premiership.He has been capped by Northern Ireland.

Career[edit]

Club career[edit]

He started his career with Millwall. Although he scored on his debut against Brighton & Hove Albion,[2] he never established himself in the Lions' starting XI. He was sent out on loan to Rushden and Diamonds and Canvey Island in the 2004–05 season.[2] His last appearance for Millwall was against Northampton in September, with his last goal coming against Gillingham in August.[2]

He was then snapped up by Northern Irish club, Portadown in December 2006.[2] Even though Portadown were sent down to the Northern Irish Championship, Braniff opted to stay. Braniff helped Portadown gain promotion back to the Northern Ireland Premiership and, in the 2009–10 season, he signed a three-year contract with Portadown in January 2010 after lengthy contract negotiations. During his time at Portadown, Braniff garnered plaudits from local football fans and journalists alike, and was considered to be one of the most technically gifted players of the Irish League's recent times.

On 13 November 2013, when Ballymena beat Portadown 4-0, Braniff threw his tracksuit away and was fined. Braniff vowed never to play for Portadown under the management of Ronnie McFall again, and was placed on the transfer list. On 18 January, it was confirmed that he would be going to Melbourne to undergo a trial with Port Melbourne Sharks in the Australian National League. He departed for Australia on 5 February. The trial was successful, though Braniff would ultimately return to Northern Ireland to sign for Portadown's Mid-Ulster Derby rivals, and 2014 Irish Cup winners Glenavon on 12 June 2014. His debut season for the Lurgan Blues was a successful one, with his 18 league goals being instrumental to Glenavon attaining European football for the next season.

Injury was to impact Braniff's 2015–16 season, and the scintillating form of new arrival Daniel Kearns meant that Braniff initially struggled to regain a first team spot. However, a mooted swap deal for Glentoran defender Calum Birney in the January transfer window came to nothing, as Braniff gradually returned to the starting XI. On 1 April, Braniff scored 4 goals in a stunning 4-3 Irish Cup semi-final victory against Crusaders, and again demonstrated his late-season form by scoring the opening goal in an eventual 2-0 win over Linfield in the Irish Cup Final. Two days before the final, Braniff had signed a one-year deal at Glenavon, keeping him at the club until 2017.

International career[edit]

He made his full debut for Northern Ireland on 26 May 2010 against Turkey in a friendly.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2003). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2003/2004. Queen Anne Press. p. 59. ISBN 1-85291-651-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Portadown sign up striker Braniff". BBC News. 6 December 2006. 
  3. ^ "N Ireland 0-2 Turkey". BBC Sport. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 

External links[edit]

External image
Kevin Braniff JPG