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Conor Clifford released by Chelsea

2 February 2013 6,952 views 12 Comments Written by Ronan

Republic of Ireland under-21 midfielder Conor Clifford has been released on a free transfer by Chelsea.

Clifford and four other young players were released by the Premier League club after failing to make the grade. Chelsea head of youth development Neil Bath explained why they left the club. “There were two sides to it,” Bath told Chelsea’s official website. “There was a group of players whose contracts were up, and we felt it appropriate to tell them now that they will not be offered new deals. We made a decision from a welfare point of view to tell them early, and pay their contracts up early to put them in a position where they are not in the same situation as many other players at the end of the season, where there could be a couple of hundred guys in the summer looking for new clubs. It’s a good aftercare thing to do for boys that have been with us a long time, and it gives them the opportunity to go and seek opportunities for their next move. Between the staff here we have good contacts within the game and we look to use those to help the boys on their way.”

Clifford was signed by Chelsea back in 2007 from Crumlin United, but never played a senior game at Stanford Bridge. A series of loan moves to League One clubs Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Yeovil Town, and Portsmouth saw Clifford fail to live up to the high expectations set when he captained the Chelsea youths to the FA Youth Cup in 2010. The Dubliner has 12 Ireland under-21 caps to date, and has also been in a number of senior squads under Giovanni Trapattoni, but now finds himself searching for a new club.

Bath had positive things to say about Clifford’s time with Chelsea: “Conor came over from Ireland at Under-15. We’ve always given him support and help that comes with bringing someone from abroad without their immediate friends and family with them. I hope to keep in contact with him. He had a fantastic time in the Youth Cup for us, and his challenge is to adjust from youth to men’s football. He’s gaining some fantastic experience with the Irish national team and he’s a gusty, determined, hard-tackling player, who has scored a lot of goals. I hope a club goes with him.”

Related posts:

  1. Conor Clifford joins Plymouth Argyle
  2. Conor Clifford added to Ireland squad
  3. Clifford joins Notts County on loan
  4. Carel Tiofack and Conor O’Donnell released by Ipswich
  5. Andy Keogh and Conor Clifford added to Ireland squad


  • Propagandhi said:

    I had a confrontation with him and a couple of other U-21’s in a pub when he was back in Ireland on U-21 duty. I predicted that this would happen. I hope I see him again so I can rub it in his face. Not good enough for League One, ha!

    And no they weren’t drinking. They were playing pool upstairs. Can’t believe I’m sitting down having lunch and then James McCarthy walks past. Random and completely unexpected.

  • Franco Baresi said:

    He will end up in the League of Ireland

  • Propagandhi said:

    He is standing on a cliff’s edge.

  • Richie said:

    Seems more than a bit mean to want to rub this in his face, Prop? Did he steal your pint or something?

    It’s rather disappointing, seeing as he promised so much a couple of years back. He’s still young enough though, if he has the drive he could find a club in a lower division and work his way up. Look at Wes Hoolahan, finally making his way into the Ireland team aged 30.

  • John said:

    I want to hear more about this confrontation!

  • IrishRI said:

    I find it hard to believe that Prop would be confrontational.

  • Toirealach said:

    The is a minor set back for Conor, he can bounce back and still have a career at the highest level, if you don’t believe me, check out some of his world class goals he scored for Chelsea youth teams, enough said.

  • Propagandhi said:

    That’s a daft comment to make about someone you don’t know in fairness, RI. You could be intelligent for all I know. Just kidding.

    It wasn’t a physical confrontation. They are professional footballers. They aren’t going to get into a fight with a random person on a weekday afternoon.

    And I’m not a knacker. I just tried to say hello to a few of the lads and the League 1 reject was being a big (small) time Charlie.

  • A said:

    Would like to see him given a chance by someone in the Championship or SPL

  • John said:

    Nice to see Chelsea developing their own talent as always… I wonder what the Chelsea and Manchester City youth team managers do all day, play Solitaire and feed swans in the park?

  • Naes said:

    I played with and against him as a schoolboy he was “the golden boy” it was hilarious watching the parents try to live their dream through their kids back then and putting them under huge pressure he was never that gifted as a footballer to be honest he mostly relied on his engine and hard work but that only gets you so far. I was a journey man(kid) myself but i reckon I’m technically better and more creative today than these “child prodigies” are today. But I’m sure he has it in him to play in the championship I read he’s on trail at Birmingham good luck to him.

  • Cooney said:

    Prop: he will be playing championship football in 3 years cause i see the effort hes putting in at southend united your most likely living with your mother with no job you fat retard .

    Naes: all i can say to you is your full of shit you think your all this and that but look at you now you waster id say you were one of those player as a kid who thought he was netter then what he was you most likely watched him as a kid cause you werent good enough to play against him get a rope!

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