Sunday 21 January 2018

Dundalk complete the signing of former Chelsea youth star Clifford

Conor Clifford in action for Southend United in a League Two match against Northampton Town earlier this season. Photo: Getty
Conor Clifford in action for Southend United in a League Two match against Northampton Town earlier this season. Photo: Getty
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk have completed the signing of former Chelsea FA Youth Cup winning captain Conor Clifford.

The 25-year-old midfielder has opted to come home to Ireland for a fresh start after a testing couple of years where he dropped down the English ladder.

Clifford was highly sought after as a teenager and opted for Chelsea ahead of a host of other clubs.

The Dubliner starred at underage level and represented Ireland all the way up to U21 level in addition to being called into two senior squads under Giovanni Trapattoni.

But he was released by Chelsea in 2013 and had spells with Leicester, Barnet and Southend before ending up in non-league football with Boreham Wood. He had a chance to return to the Football League with Crawley Town in this transfer window but has decided to come back to Ireland for a new challenge working with Stephen Kenny.

His childhood team-mates Richie Towell and Andy Boyle have both thrived by using Dundalk as a stepping stone to better things and Clifford will now be part of the Louth club's bid to win a fourth successive league title.

Mayoman John Mountney has also agreed a new deal with the Oriel Park club.

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