Dundalk confirm signing of ex-Chelsea youth graduate Conor Clifford and hint at another major arrival

Dubliner returns to Irish soil after spending the first part of his career in England

Conor Clifford, Ireland, under 21s, Dundalk,

Conor Clifford with Ireland under-21s ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Dundalk have announced the arrival of former Chelsea academy player Conor Clifford.

The 25 year old midfielder joins the reigning League of Ireland champions after 18 months at English non league side Boreham Wood.

Speaking to the Dundalk official website, Clifford cited manager Stephen Kenny as a key reason why he signed for the Louth club.

"I am delighted to have signed with the club. I spoke with Stephen Kenny and things went well there so I can’t wait to get started. I trained with the lads earlier today and enjoyed it," he said.

"Stephen was massive in my decision. I like the way that the team played last year and he has done great things with Dundalk. I am looking forward to playing under him so I am happy to be here." 

The Dubliner is a graduate of the Chelsea academy and captained the London club to FA Youth Cup glory in 2010, scoring the winner over Aston Villa in the replay.

While at Chelsea between 2009 and 2013, he then spent time on loan at Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town, before departing permanently to Leicester City.

After making no first team appearances for the Foxes, he then left for Southend United in 2013.

Clifford has been capped for Ireland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level. He has also received call ups to the senior team, although he has yet to be capped for the Boys in Green at that level.

His signing follows Dundalk's announcement on Sunday that they have brought in Jamie McGrath and Niclas Vemmelund, both of whom had played for St Patrick's Athletic and Derry City respectively last season.

After signing Clifford, Dundalk also hinted that another major arrival is on the cards: