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'I love it': Cliftonville captain Chris Curran keen to stay at Solitude for the rest of his career

 

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Chris Curran (left) lifts the County Antrim Shield with Joe Gormley.

Chris Curran (left) lifts the County Antrim Shield with Joe Gormley.

Silver lining: Chris Curran wants to win more trophies

Silver lining: Chris Curran wants to win more trophies

PMAKER

Chris Curran (left) lifts the County Antrim Shield with Joe Gormley.

It's hard to believe that Chris Curran has been at Cliftonville for almost seven years.

The 29-year-old arrived at Solitude from Ballinamallard United in the summer of 2013, via a call from manager Tommy Breslin while the boss was in a hot tub in Santa Ponsa.

Back then, Curran had just a single season of Premiership football under his belt, his seven top-tier goals for the Mallards prompting Conor Devlin to recommend him during the squad's summer trip.

Fast forward to 2020 and Curran has now started 197 Premiership games for the Reds, winning a league title, three League Cups and two County Antrim Shields in the process. He's not intent on letting it stop there either.

"I've loved it since day one, when Tommy brought me in," he said after scoring in Saturday's 2-0 win at Glentoran.

"I'm happy here, I'm settled and, to be honest, I hope I can finish my career here. I love it, so I hope it continues as long as I can stay fit and these knees don't give up on me.

"There's a connection there with the supporters that's second to none. I love the atmosphere on days like this when you beat one of our rivals. It just means the absolute world to them.

"They get behind you and they back you to the hilt.

"I've loved everything about the place; the people, the volunteers and the management teams.

"I've been lucky with the managers we've had because I've always got on well with them and they've always trusted me.

"I've always loved my team-mates here too.

"When I first came in, I was playing with the likes of Liam Boyce, Barry Johnston, Joe Gormley, Ryan Catney, George McMullan; club legends. I was lucky enough to be part of the team that won the league."

Not only does the Cavan man intend on finishing his playing career at Solitude, now that he's got the armband, he's keen to add a few more medals to his collection.

"Now it's about being as successful as we possibly can be," he said.

"I want to lift a few trophies as captain. That's the dream now."

Chief among the list of desires, of course, is the Irish Cup, which Cliftonville haven't lifted since 1979 - not that he needs reminded.

"We hear enough about the 41 years," he said.

"That's the one the fans want. It's been drummed into me in the time I've been at the club - that's the one they're after.

"I know it would mean the absolute world to them, but as long as they know it would mean as much to us as players to win something like that.

"It would be the cherry on the cake for a player like me who has won mostly everything else. It would be a dream."

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