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The 21 who broke through 7 Chris Killen

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Our next Academy Graduate broke through into the City first team after picking up Football League experience whilst on loan with both Wrexham and Port Vale.

Chris Killen secured an impressive transfer to SPL champions Celtic during the summer.

Killen, who scored 15 goals for Hibernian despite an injury-hit season where he made 23 starts, had rejected a new deal at Easter Road in order to get a move to Celtic Park.

Now 25, Chris was the SPL’s third top scorer last season and his international manager believes playing at Parkhead will be a great platform for the Kiwi hitman.

New Zealand manager Ricki Herbert said: “If it works out, it would be absolutely fantastic, it would be outstanding.

"When you look at Killy's career, it's onwards and upwards for him and still at quite a young age.

"Celtic are not only in the top echelon in Britain but they are also a hugely recognisable club around the world.

"It's a great platform for him. Who knows where it will lead?"

Academy Manager Jim Cassell takes up the story: “Chris has had a real topsy-turvy career. He played in the first team under Kevin Keegan and Arthur Cox and I know Arthur particularly liked him. But again because of the pace of the Club under Kevin, and he did a fantastic job, he wanted to move on quicker than probably Chris could keep up with.

“We had an exceptionally good offer from Oldham Athletic to take him and unfortunately Oldham didn’t see the best of Chris as he went through that period of transition, but give him his due his gone up to Scotland and become one of the top scorers in the league and on the back of that has got what should be a dream move to Celtic.

“It just endorses what I’ve said previously about boys being allowed to develop and they do develop differently. Chris has done that and it’s a great advert for New Zealand football. He came to us purely as a trialist on the recommendation of an ex-player I used to coach at Oldham, John Murphy. We just played Chris in a game and he got two goals, we liked him, we took him and the rest is history and we wish him well at Celtic.”

Chris’ former team mate Terry Dunfield adds: “Chris is one of my best mates, we still keep touch and I’ve been up to Edinburgh a lot to see him. He did really well at Hibs, but he ruptured his Achilles before Christmas, although he still managed to score a lot of goals before the it happened! He has always scored goals, he’s a good goalscorer, an old fashioned centre forward and he scored all those goals for Hibs in only half a season.”

The 21 Who Broke Through  
Number 6: Chris Killen
Date of birth: October 8, 1981
City first team debut: v Rotherham United, Maine Road, November 24, 2001
Games played for City: 3
Goals scored for City: 0
Left City for: Oldham in July 2002 for £200,000


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