Dundalk FC striker Ciaran Kilduff has left the defending League of Ireland champions to move to American NASL side the Jacksonville Armada FC.
Kilduff, who scored 31 goals in 82 appearances for the lilywhites, including the match winner against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Europa League group stages, the first ever win for an Irish side in European competition, leaves Dundalk on good terms and reflects on his two years at club as the best of his career.
“It has been the best two years of my football career,” Kilduff told Dundalk’s official club website.
“There’s no other way to describe it. It has been the best dressing room, the best staff, best management team that I have been involved with. I have had some really great moments personally, individually and collectively as a team with the club.
“I have had some bad moments as well with some injuries too. It was eventful along the way.
“I am just really happy to have been a part of something which has been so great. There was so many great nights and moments for us. To be part of it is something that I will always be proud of.
“Dundalk has been an amazing story in Irish football in the last five-six years from where they came from to where they are now. I am just so happy and proud to have been part of it.”
Kilduff said that his move to the Armada was a ‘now or never’ opportunity for him and his family, and that he’ll be looking to try and emulate former Shamrock Rovers teammate Richie Ryan’s move from the Hoops to the NASL.
“For me, I will always look back at this as the greatest two years in Ireland,” added Kilduff.
“This is something which is completely out of left field. It is something which has interested me in maybe the last year or so if the opportunity came. I have a young family so the timing seems right for me.
“When my daughter gets a little older and gets to school going age things will have to change so I felt that this was a ‘now or never’ situation for me. Football in America is taking off. I am going over there to grasp it and try to further myself.
“I see players like Richie Ryan and players like that who have bettered themselves and furthered their careers.
“There is so much over there, so much room for progression over there. It’s not something I have taken lightly at all.
“It’s a lifestyle change and it is something that I have been open to for a while. It has just fallen for me at this time. It ticks a lot of boxes for me and I am excited to get going.”