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Friday 19 September 2014

Quigley hoping Saints return will be a permanent one

Published 26/12/2013 | 02:30

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Quigley: Back to Richmond Park

MARK QUIGLEY wants to settle down and finish his career at St Patrick's Athletic but knows he could be out the door next winter if he doesn't deliver at Inchicore in 2014.

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The Dubliner has linked up with the champions after reaching a settlement with Shamrock Rovers to rip up his contract in Tallaght with a year remaining. It means that the 28-year-old will be lining up in new colours for the fifth successive season.

After a successful first stint with the Saints, Quigley spent 2010 with Bohemians, 2011 with Dundalk, 2012 with Sligo and 2013 with the Hoops. He's ready for some stability, and will enjoy linking up with Keith Fahey after the Irish international confirmed his return to Dublin 8 earlier this week.

"I would love to settle down," says Quigley. "I've tried to do it, and there have been opportunities I turned down. The season I had at Dundalk, I would have been happy to stay there but financially the club let every player go. And then Sligo last year, I was offered another year but the lure of coming home to Dublin and my family was too much to turn down.

"I'd like to relax now and let this be my team and finish out my career, but you sign one-year deals in this country and it depends on your form. It will depend on me and how well I do; if I don't perform I will be off somewhere else."

Quigley thought he was signing on for a long-term commitment when he joined Shamrock Rovers last winter. But he was unhappy there with injuries and then an uncertain place in Trevor Croly's plans. His days were numbered after a disciplinary issue before the FAI Cup semi-final in Sligo.

Quigley does not want to go over old ground, but he has gone on record to insist that he behaved himself at a friend's wedding on the eve of the game, when he was accused of doing otherwise.

"If I did something wrong and was found guilty of it, the club could have sacked me, the club could have fined me," he stresses. "At the end of the day, I left (Rovers) with my head held high and there was no problems. I feel I have a good relationship with the board."

He didn't have a great relationship with Croly, however, and the player is clearly sore about the amount of time he spent on the sidelines. Indeed, he feels that Croly's rotation of his strikers last term had a detrimental effect on all his front men, with Ciaran Kilduff and Eamon Zayed also unhappy.

"The strikers always seem to be the ones that get dropped or don't play," he explains. "I think as a frontman it's good to have competition for places but you need a run in the team to try and get goals.

"I want to play 90 minutes. I feel, even if I'm not having the best game in the world, I want to stay on because I feel if I get a chance, I'll score. I felt I should have started more games than I did and finished more games than I did. I was sort of going onto the pitch thinking, knowing I was going to be taken off after 60/70 minutes."

Now, his eyes are fixed on the future and he is looking forward to working with Liam Buckley for the first time.

"I think his style will suit me," he says. "Any team that gets the ball down and tries to play, it's good for me."

On his day, Quigley is an exceptional performer who could be in the MLS with FC Dallas but spurned that move because he didn't want to emigrate.

"I had a two-year contract on the table which I turned down to sign a two-year deal with Shamrock Rovers," he explains. "Going away is not for me. I'm happy here and love this league.

"I know we don't get enough fans in the ground which is unfortunate but the standard of football is good. I've never looked to get a move abroad; one of the big things for me is to be with my family, playing in Dublin."

In his football life, he has struggled to enjoy the same home comforts. This Christmas, the mercurial striker hopes that he has finally found it.

Irish Independent

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