Norwich City old boy Kyle McFadden gears up for League of Ireland bow
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Former Norwich City FA Youth Cup winner Kyle McFadden is not giving up hope of a return to English football, ahead of his League of Ireland debut with Sligo.
McFadden cut short a spell in America with MLS club Orlando to link up with ambitious Rovers ahead of the new season, which begins in Limerick on Friday.
The 21-year-old defender was a key figure alongside the Murphys and Harry Toffolo in the Norwich squad Neil Adams guided to a first FA Youth win in three decades before he was released by Alex Neil in 2015 after making one senior appearance under Adams.
'The first few months after I left Norwich were quite difficult,' he said. 'I actually had an offer of a new contract from the manager at the time, Neil Adams. But he was then let go by Norwich and the new manager had his own plans.
'He said the young lads who were getting the new contracts weren't going to get the club promoted back to the Premier League, so I was one of the ones who was let go. There were other English clubs interested in me but in different positions which I wasn't familiar with, so there was nothing there that was suitable for me. Then Orlando City came in. They were starting up a second team and they gave me a contract with a view to playing for the second team for a year and then going onto the first team in the MLS. It sounded great.'
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McFadden, however, believes a return to his homeland is a better career move to try and emulate the likes of Wes Hoolahan and ex-Sligo defender Seamus Coleman, who started out in domestic Irish football.
'You see Seamus Coleman, another Donegal man who played with Sligo, he's now at Everton and the captain of the national team,' he told the42.ie. 'It's brilliant that young lads like myself can look at them and know what opportunities there are. Before that you had Seamus, James McClean, Shane Long and plenty of others. The League of Ireland is definitely a great place to kick start your career. Hopefully it can be the same for me.'
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'The first six or seven months (in America) were great. I loved it. But then I started to realise that the highest you can get to in America is the MLS, whereas I was watching what was going on back home.
'You had the likes of Dundalk winning matches in the Champions League and the Europa League. That made me feel like I wanted to come back to Ireland and make a name for myself. From a development point of view, I really wanted to come back home, make a name for myself and then go from there. This will be a much better stepping stone for me than being in America.'