Tuesday 21 August 2018

'I want to get back playing as soon as possible' - Interest in Clifford with ban set to end

1 September 2017; Conor Clifford of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
1 September 2017; Conor Clifford of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Conor Clifford is very hopeful he will get fixed up with a club when his six-month worldwide ban from football expires next week.

The Dubliner was punished in October for gambling offences that dated back to his final days in England where he placed bets on games that he wasn't involved in.

That brought an end to his career with Dundalk, but the free agent will be able to seek new employment from Tuesday.

A number of Premier Division clubs are monitoring his position with Waterford and Limerick keen, while First Division promotion-chasers Galway also rate the 26-year-old ex-Chelsea man.

Clifford was a guest on the new LOI Weekly Podcast and, while he did not go into the specifics of interested parties, he is confident that a fresh start is around the corner.

"My dad looks after me and he's been on the phone speaking to a right few clubs, there seems to be a lot of interest," he said.

"I want to get back playing as soon as possible as six months out of the game is a long time for anyone. I'm still young and I know I have the ability but I just need a run of games."

Clifford has been working hard on an intensive personal training schedule and says he is much better prepared for what to expect in the league than he was before penning the deal with Dundalk. He knows what is at stake with his next move.

"Wherever I go, I know this will be my last chance, in my head, to play at a decent level," said Clifford, who was called into an Ireland senior squad as a teenager.

"I've had a lot of chances in football and some places have clicked and some haven't. I won't get another chance after this so I need to take it with both hands and I will.

"I have a lot of things to prove to myself and to other people. Hopefully in the next few days I'll have some news. I'm focused on what I have to do now."

To listen to the podcast featuring Clifford and Shamrock Rovers defender Lee Grace, visit independent.ie/podcasts or search 'LOI Weekly' on iTunes

Irish Independent

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