Eye for goal: Ciaran Kilheeney
Published Date: 28 November 2009
By Tony Dewhurst
Like many a precocious schoolboy, Ciaran Kilheeney found that more than talent was required to succeed as a professional.
He could have dropped out, disillusioned with life when Manchester City freed him nearly eight years ago and when Kilheeney’s football career existed in a very different environment.
“I was a regular in City’s reserves, and I seemed to score every time I played,” he said.
“I thought I did well, having developed into a decent player.
“But I don’t think Kevin Keegan, the first team boss then, cared much about what was happening outside the senior squad.
“That’s how it felt for me anyhow.
“It was a hugely disappointing experience.
“It hit me really hard.
“I’d joined Manchester City from school, and to this day I don’t know why I didn’t get the chance.
“Sometimes, you don’t know in life do you?”
When Kilheeney stepped into the rough and tumble world of non-league, and after two-and-a-half years on the fringes of the Premier League, he was effectively starting his career again.
“That’s how it felt, and when Mossley asked me to play a few games for them I went.
“I turned up at Seel Park, got changed in a shack and the mud was nearly over my boots when I stepped on the pitch.
“It was an unbelievable experience after the cosseted, comfortable life as a pro.”