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Ex-Ireland international Elliot joins newly promoted Drogheda

The Dubliner signs on having trained with Pete Mahon’s side over the past couple of weeks.

Stephen Elliot has played for a number of clubs across the water, including Sunderland and Coventry.
Stephen Elliot has played for a number of clubs across the water, including Sunderland and Coventry.

EX-IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Stephen Elliot will link up with Drogheda for the 2017 League of Ireland campaign.

The 33-year-old striker signed a contract with the newly promoted Premier Division club last night, and will compete with Marc Griffin, Gareth McCaffrey and Thomas Byrne for a place in the forward line.

The Dubliner has had some memorable moments over the course of his career, winning nine Ireland caps and scoring one goal — the winner in a 2006 World Cup qualifying defeat of Cyprus.

He also represented a number of clubs in Britain, including Man City, Sunderland and Hearts.

Elliot’s most memorable campaign was arguably in the 2004-05 season, when his 16 goals helped Mick McCarthy’s Sunderland achieve promotion to the Premier League, though injury problems restricted his game time with the Black Cats thereafter.

He then played for a number of other lower league clubs, including Wolves, Preston and Coventry, though further injury issues ultimately brought an end to his spell in England.

“I got a knee injury at the end of my time with Coventry [in 2013]. I was out of contract and without a club, but I was meant to be back playing in few weeks, but it never seemed to heal. After nine months of rehab, I went to see a specialist in London to get to the bottom of it,” Elliott told The42 in an interview last year.

“I was thinking is this is ever going to get better? At that stage I was 29, I was supposedly going to be in my prime and all of a sudden my career was being taken away.

I wasn’t able to go in and train or play anywhere. I was into the unknown a bit. I have a young family and I was beginning to think should I stick with this or just give up?

“I found it difficult, especially in my head; I felt I should still be playing. I felt angry.

In the end I invested out of my own pocket to get the injury right and managed to get back playing, and I was delighted, albeit in League Two with Carlisle, a level I never played before.

“It was a financial burden, but a path I chose to go down. For me, football is all I know and when it’s taken away from you, it’s very difficult.”

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After leaving Carlisle United, he joined Shelbourne last April, but his spell with the Dublin club proved to be short-lived, as he left the following August after making only six appearances in an injury-hit spell.

Elliot joins Drogheda having trained with the side for the last few weeks.

Manager Pete Mahon praised the veteran striker amid news of his signing with the club.

“Stephen will add to our attacking options and although he has played in the Premier League and has represented his country, he has exceeded my expectations as a player,” Mahon told Drogheda’s official website.

He still has the hunger to score goals and he was very impressed with what he has seen at the club to date.

“We are extremely happy with the squad we have assembled and the players have put a tremendous effort in and are looking forward to getting games under their belts.”

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Paul Fennessy

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