Freeman in action in 2018.
|Full name||Kieron Samuel Freeman|
|Date of birth||21 March 1992|
|Place of birth||Arnold, England|
|2011–2012||→ Mansfield Town (loan)||9||(3)|
|2012||→ Notts County (loan)||19||(1)|
|2013||→ Notts County (loan)||7||(0)|
|2014||→ Notts County (loan)||9||(0)|
|2014||→ Sheffield United (loan)||12||(0)|
|2014–2015||→ Mansfield Town (loan)||11||(0)|
|2016||→ Portsmouth (loan)||7||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:10, 13 March 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:00, 20 November 2018(UTC)
Starting his career at Nottingham Forest, he then moved to local rivals Derby County for an undisclosed fee. Having played on loan for Mansfield Town and had three separate loan spells at Notts County, he is the youngest player to have played for all three professional Nottinghamshire clubs, and is the first to play for each of the three in consecutive competitive games. He has also spent time on loan at Portsmouth. Freeman has represented Wales at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.
Freeman was a regular for the reserves in the 2010–11 season, and he was named as a substitute by Billy Davies in a Football League Cup first round match with Bradford City in August 2010. In February 2011, Freeman signed a contract at Forest keeping him at the club until the summer of 2013. In the 2011–12 pre-season, Freeman was played in midfield.
Freeman made his first professional appearance for Forest on 22 August 2011 in the second round of the League Cup during a 4–1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers, coming on for Lewis McGugan. His performance resulted in praise from then-Forest manager Steve McClaren.
On 4 November 2011 Freeman joined Conference Premier club Mansfield Town on an emergency loan deal, which was later extended. Freeman returned to Forest on 4 January, having made nine starts for the Stags.
Under Steve Cotterill, Freeman was given his first start for Forest, in an FA Cup third round tie at home to rival club Leicester City in January 2012. He played the whole 90 minutes and helped to keep a clean sheet. The game finished 0–0.
On 13 January 2012 Freeman joined League One side Notts County on an emergency 30-day loan. He was given squad number 20 and made his debut in a 2–1 defeat away to A.F.C. Bournemouth. The loan was extended until the end of the 2011–2012 season on 13 February 2012. After a set of impressive games Kieron was awarded the Football League's Young Player of the Month award for February. He was also praised the current Notts County manager, Keith Curle, who stated that in the future Freeman would be good enough to play in the Premier League. At the end of the season, Freeman returned to Forest, however he has said he'd like to rejoin the Magpies next season.
In the summer of 2012, reports linked Freeman with a return to Notts County and also moves to Derby County and Gillingham. Derby manager Nigel Clough confirmed his interest in signing the player. On 22 August 2012, Freeman joined East Midlands rivals Derby County for an undisclosed fee, signing a two-year contract with an option of a third.
He made his first team debut in a 4–1 win to Blackpool on 3 November 2012, as an 81st minute substitute for Jeff Hendrick. His first start came in a 3–1 win to Middlesbrough on 1 January 2013. After left-back Gareth Roberts received a three-game ban, Freeman was chosen to play at right back for Derby's home games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers, however early into the Bolton game Freeman was stretchered off injured after 29 minutes. Manager Nigel Clough said that Freeman sprained his ankle and had to leave Pride Park on crutches. He was ruled out for three to four weeks. Freeman returned to the first team match day squad after three weeks and a week later returned to starting eleven at right back to cover for the injured John Brayford. In early April it was confirmed that Freeman had extended his contract at Derby through to the summer of 2016. Freeman ended the season featuring 20 times for the first team, starting in 10 matches, along with these appearances Freeman was a regular for the under-21 side and at the end of the season he won the under-21 Player of the Year award.
After the sale of first choice right-back John Brayford to Cardiff City, Nigel Clough thought Freeman would be capable replacement. A couple of days later, Derby signed Tottenham Hotspur right-back Adam Smith on a season-long loan with the intention of the two competing for a place in the starting eleven. Freeman was selected ahead of Smith for the first five league games of the season but was withdrawn at half-time in the fifth game, a home defeat to Burnley. The Rams were 2–0 down at the time and Freeman was at fault for both goals, particularly the second, when he headed the ball into the path of Burnley striker Sam Vokes, who scored from close range. Clough noted that Freeman "should have done better" and Smith started the next game, a 5–1 victory at Millwall, though he was withdrawn after 61 minutes out of concerns for his safety. Millwall were 3–0 down and playing with 10 men and Smith was struck by bottles and coins thrown by the home fans so he was replaced by Freeman. Smith kept his place in the team for the following two matches but Freeman returned for the third, a 2–1 League Cup defeat to rivals Leicester City. Smith was supplanted after Andre Wisdom arrived on loan from Liverpool and Freeman found himself third choice right-back.
Freeman returned to Notts County for a second loan spell on 12 November 2013, making his first appearance as a half-time substitute in a Football League Trophy match on the same day and has since played every minute of Notts County's next four league matches. After making eight appearances in all competitions for Notts County he was recalled from his loan by Derby on 24 December 2013. Freeman returned to Notts County for a third loan spell on 11 January 2014. In March 2014, Freeman linked up with former manager Nigel Clough and joined Sheffield United on an initial one-month loan deal, which after seven appearances for United, was extended until the end of the season. Freeman was used regularly for the remainder of his stay and returned to Derby having made twelve appearances in total for the Blades. On 3 October 2014, Freeman joined former loan club Mansfield Town on a three-month loan deal.
On 23 January 2015, after being released by Derby County, Freeman joined former loan club Sheffield United on a free transfer signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Blades. Freeman scored his first goal in United colours on 14 March 2015, away at Glanford Park against Scunthorpe United. Freeman was signed for the Blades by Nigel Clough, who left United on 25 May 2015.
Replacement Nigel Adkins would serve as Sheffield United manager for the 2015–16. During Adkins' tenure as Bramall Lane boss, Freeman found himself "out of favour", and on 28 January 2016 he signed on loan for League Two club Portsmouth for the remainder of the 2015–16 season. Upon Freeman's return to United, Adkins had departed the club.
Chris Wilder was installed as manager, and initially transfer listed Freeman. However, Freeman worked his way into the team, becoming "a mainstay of United's starting eleven" as he helped the South Yorkshire side lift the League One trophy, earning with it promotion. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Freeman featured in the PFA Team of the Year. In the summer of 2017, Freeman signed a new contract with the now-Premiership club.
Despite being born in England, Freeman is eligible to represent Wales through his grandparents. Freeman has been capped at under-17, under-19 and under-21 and senior levels. In January 2013 he was selected in the Wales under-21 squad for the friendly match against Iceland on 6 February 2013. On 12 October 2018, Freeman was called up by Wales manager Ryan Giggs to the senior squad for the first time, and made his senior debut on 20 November 2018 from the bench in a friendly away to Albania.
Freeman is a Nottingham Forest supporter, as is his father, for whom Wes Morgan used to play during his days in Non-League football. Freeman credited former Foresters Morgan, Jermaine Jenas and fellow full-back Stuart Pearce as some of his favourite players growing up.
- As of 2 December 2015
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Mansfield Town (loan)||2011–12||Conference Premier||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||0|
|Notts County (loan)||2011–12||League One||19||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||19||1|
|Nottingham Forest total||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|Derby County total||32||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||35||0|
|Notts County (loan)||2013–14||League One||7||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||8||0|
|Notts County (loan)||2013–14||League One||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||0|
|Sheffield United (loan)||2013–14||League One||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||12||0|
|Mansfield Town (loan)||2014–15||League Two||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||0|
|Sheffield United||2014–15||League One||14||1||0||0||0||0||2||1||16||2|
|Sheffield United||2015–16||League One||19||0||1||1||1||0||1||0||22||1|
|Sheffield United||2016-17||League One||40||10||2||1||0||0||3||0||45||11|
|Sheffield United total||108||14||4||2||2||0||6||1||115||17|
- PFA Team of the Year: 2016–17 League One
- Football League Young Player of the Month: February 2012
- Derby County Under-21 Player of the Year: 2012–13
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- "New Deals For Young Trio". nottinghamforest.co.uk. Nottingham Forest F.C. 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- "Wycombe 1–4 Nott'm Forest". BBC Sport. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
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- "Stags sign Forest defender". mansfieldtown.net. Mansfield Town F.C. 4 November 2011. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
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- "Freeman Joins On Loan". nottscountyfc.co.uk. Notts County F.C. 13 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
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- "Hopes fading fast for Magpies after Cherries defeat". thisisnottingham.co.uk. Nottingham Post. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
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- Loakes, Tom (22 August 2012). "Freeman Checks In". dcfc.co.uk. Derby County F.C. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Derby 4–1 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Derby 3–1 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Nicholson, Steve (20 February 2013). "Kieron Freeman injury adds to Derby County's defensive woes". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Nicholson, Steve (20 February 2013). "Derby County defender Freeman set for a few weeks on the sidelines". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "Kieron Freeman signs new Derby County contract". BBC Sport. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Keogh Named Club Player Of The Year". dcfc.co.uk. Derby County F.C. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "Brayford Completes Cardiff Move". dcfc.co.uk. Derby County F.C. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Smith Arrives On Loan". dcfc.co.uk. Derby County F.C. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Derby 0 3 Burnley". BBC Sport. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Brother's fury as Millwall fans hurl bottles, coins and abuse at Derby's Spurs loanee". Herts and Essex Observer. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Kieron Freeman: Notts County sign Derby County defender on loan". BBC Sport. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Freeman Recalled From Notts Loan". Derby County Official Website. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Freeman Returns For Third Loan Spell". Notts County F.C. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "Sheffield United: Kieron Freeman signs on loan from Derby County". BBC Sport. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Freeman loan extended". Sheffield United F.C. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- "Games played by Kieron Freeman in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Kieron Freeman: Mansfield Town sign Derby County defender". BBC Sport. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Sheffield United: Derby's Paul Coutts & Kieron Freeman join". BBC Sport. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Result: Scunthorpe United 1 Sheffield United 1: Blades held at Scunthorpe". Sheffield Star. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Shield, James (29 September 2017). "Sheffield United: Kieron Freeman on his love for Bramall Lane, Nottingham Forest and a tricky conversation with his dad". Sheffield Star. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- "Manager leaves Blades". sufc.co.uk. Sheffield United F.C. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- Weld, Neil (28 January 2016). "FREEMAN SIGNS ON LOAN". portsmouthfc.co.uk. Portsmouth F.C. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- "PFA teams of the year: Chelsea and Tottenham dominate Premier League XI". BBC Sport. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- "Seven uncapped in Wales U21 squad to face Iceland". BBC Sport. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Pritchard, Dafydd (20 November 2018). "Embarrassing defeat for Wales in Albania". BBC Sport Wales. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
- "Games played by Kieron Freeman in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Games played by Kieron Freeman in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Anderson, John, ed. (2017). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2017–2018. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 326–327. ISBN 978-1-4722-3397-4.
- "Championship: 2018/19: Current table". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
"Sheff Utd: Squad details: 2018/19". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- Kieron Freeman at Soccerbase