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Daniel Kearns

Daniel Kearns Nationality: Irish
Date/place of birth: 26 August 1991/Belfast
Position: Right Midfield
Height: 5ft10
Nickname: Kearnsy, Danny
Honours: None
Ex-clubs: West Ham United
Joined: Thursday 5 August 2010
Joined from: West Ham United
Signed by: Ian Foster
Club debut: v UCD (H), 6 August 2010
First club goal: v Linfield (A), 14 February 2011

Daniel Kearns (born: 26 August 1991) is a young midfielder who returned to his native country in May 2010 after a three-year spell with West Ham United in England. Before joining the London club in July 2007, Kearns was the Player of the Tournament at the prestigious Ballymena International Tournament the previous April. The Belfast youngster quickly settled into life at the West Ham Academy despite making the switch to England when still only 15. He soon became a regular fixture in the U18 setup, showing himself to be a creative provider with an eye for goal. That was demonstrated most notably in the following February’s 2-0 away win against Arsenal when he broke the deadlock with a fine shot after cutting in from the left flank. Daniel also continued to represent his country, not least by being chosen to represent Northern Ireland in a vital series of European U17 Championship qualifiers in March 2008. However, he switched to the Republic of Ireland in 2010 and has since represented his country at U19, U21 and U23 level.

In May 2010 he was released by West Ham and almost three months later he put pen to paper on a short-term deal with Dundalk. Shortly after signing that contract on 5 August, Kearns said: “I’m delighted to have signed here. I’m looking forward to getting some football and playing some matches at a competitive level, so I’m happy to be here. West Ham let quite a few of us go in the middle of May. They wouldn’t offer me a contract so I had to move on. One of the scouts that brought me over to West Ham gave me Ian Foster’s number. He said he was looking to have a chat with me and maybe come down here for a week or so and see what happens. I came down on Monday and I really enjoyed it, and he asked me would I like to come down until the end of the season and I said yes. It’s a decent setup here and it’s a good club, and, as I said, I just need to get back playing again, and I think it’s a good opportunity for me to do that.”

Kearns did just that as he made 13 appearances in all competitions, while he also earned U21 and U23 caps in September, and such were his performances that he was handed a new one-year contract three weeks before the end of the season. After agreeing the deal, Daniel commented: “I’m happy to get everything done and dusted. Obviously the Gaffer wanted to keep me here and that’s the main thing for me, to feel wanted by the club. The club has been brilliant to me over the last couple of months and I think I’ve shown that to them in return by signing and hopefully we can push on next season and see what comes of it. For me, it’s a good club. It’s going in the right direction. The Gaffer is trying to get as many young fellas in as he can and that can only be good – for him, the team and the club. It is going in a good direction. Hopefully, we can keep the same team or in and around that team, and bring in a few new faces – if we do that I think we’ll be right up the league next year. Obviously it was difficult for me coming back (from England), but the main aim for me was to get into someone’s first team, to play regularly and to play every week. To be fair to the manager he has given me that opportunity and I’m grateful for it. Like I say, he has been excellent to me and the club have been brilliant to me as well since I’ve been here. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Kearns started the 2011 season in blistering form, scoring a hat-trick on his first competitive outing of the year, in his native city, as he downed Linfield at Windsor Park on Saint Valentine’s Day in the opening round of the Setanta Sports Cup. The Lilywhites won the game 5-3, before a 1-1 draw in the return leg at Oriel Park saw them through to the quarter-finals. Kearns went on to help Dundalk defeat two more Belfast clubs, Glentoran and Cliftonville, as they made it to the final at the first attempt, though they lost the decider to Shamrock Rovers on a 2-0 scoreline. Earlier, on 1 April, Daniel scored his first league goal for the club with a strike against UCD, and overall has hit an impressive nine goals so far this term. On 24 June, it was reported that English Championship club Blackpool would send scouts to watch the youngster in action against Galway United. On Tuesday 30 August, he signed a three-year contract with Peterborough United.

2011 Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 36 (34) 9
League 25 (25) 4
Setanta Sports Cup 7 (7) 4
FAI Cup 2 (2) 1
League Cup 1 (0) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 1 (0) 0
All-Time Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 49 (47) 9
League 37 (37) 4
Setanta Sports Cup 7 (7) 4
FAI Cup 2 (2) 1
League Cup 2 (1) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 1 (0) 0

Profile last updated: 15 September 2011