Cinch Championship Player of the Month Feb 2022.
Kyle Seeks Killie Redemption!
Cinch Championship Player of the Month Feb 2022.
Kyle Seeks Killie Redemption!
Feb 12th 2021: Tommy Wright's first signing is Kyle Lafferty on a short-term contract thru the end of the season.
The Northern Irishman came close to signing a deal with Romanian outfit Sepsi earlier in the week but will now join up with his fellow compatriot at Rugby Park.
It's his third club in Scottish football having previously turned out for Rangers and Hearts, with the big striker having had two separate spells at Ibrox.
He returns after a disappointing period in Italy with Reggina where he made 11 appearances in Serie B but mustered only one goal.
Killie have been in search of a striker since losing Eamon Brophy to St Mirren in the transfer window and Wright will be delighted to secure an established international with 75 caps for his country.
The 33-year old has played numerous clubs in a fascinating career that has taken in the likes of Palermo, where he played alongside Paulo Dybala, FC Sion in Switzerland and Sunderland.
Tommy Wright: "I think it will be good for both of us, That [avoiding relegation] is the reason we've brought him in. We have lacked goals. I think I can help him and he will be a big help to us. He is experienced, knows the league and the fact he is 33 on a short-term contract, he will be playing for his future and that's important. He will be really focused on that as well".
Kyle Lafferty: "I'm delighted with the move," Rugby Park is just around the corner from my home and that's important for my family. We have 10 games and the cup so it will be good to be back playing and hopefully push the team back up the league."
Feb 20th 2021: Kyle makes his Killie debut as a second half sub at Pittodrie.
Mar 5th 2021: Kyle scores a double in Dingwall with the second one from the spot, as Killie went bottom in 3-2 loss.
April 26th 2021: After scoring 10 goals in his last 8 games for Killie Kyle misses out on the Buddies Scottish Cup QF, due to an injury picked up in training.
Tommy Wright Said : “We’ll assess him tomorrow and Wednesday. Hopefully he’ll be fit for Saturday (Motherweel A). It’s an ankle injury. Saturday, I’ll be delighted if he’s there for it. But I think definitely the last two, but he’s got a chance for Saturday because it has settled down quickly.”
May 6th 2021: Kyle is named SPFL Player of the Month for April 2021. He also gave an update on his thoughts for next season.... “I will try to stay in Scotland. If that’s Kilmarnock, then I will be absolutely delighted because I have loved every single day I’ve been here with the lads and the manager. I’m playing football with a smile on my face, which is a nice bonus for me. I’m sure at the end of the season we will sit down and talk about what we want to do. I would obviously like to stay in the Premiership, but I have a great connection with the manager and I would like to play at Rugby Park with the fans in. I know it’s a nice place to come to play, so I’m not going to say ‘no’ if we get relegated, but I’d prefer to stay in the Premiership. The gaffer has been brilliant. He knows what I’m capable of doing, the same as it was working with Michael O’Neill with Northern Ireland. The gaffer knows the more love he gives me, the better I’ll perform. And the more he’ll get from me. I’d just love to reward him by helping Kilmarnock stay in the league. The last two games are absolutely massive for me to go out and produce. I have ten goals so far but they’ll count for nothing if we get relegated. If I can get the goals in the next two games to keep us in the league, it’ll be the icing on the cake for me.”
June 4th 2021: Kyle's time at Kilmarnock is over. The former Rangers striker made a big impact with 13 goals from 13 games but couldn't save Tommy Wright's men from relegation to the Championship,
after scoring 13 goals in 13 games Wright had been keen to hang on to his countryman as Killie look to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt. But the well-travelled 33 year-old has decided to move on for another challenge.
June 5th 2021: “I was with the Northern Ireland squad in Ukraine when I read that I’d decided to move on from Kilmarnock, it was extremely disappointing. It just isn’t true that I’ve walked away, the opposite is true. I loved the time I had there and wanted to stay. My aim was to be a part of the bid to bounce straight back to the Premiership next season but the club have announced that won’t be happening. The club spoke to my agent, he told them what I was looking for and I wasn’t asking for the earth or to give the boss Tommy Wright a heart attack. Contract talks are all about negotiation but there was none of that, we heard nothing, just an announcement on the official club website that I and several other players had decided to move on. It’s a disingenuous statement, the fans deserve to know what the situation is as it’s not right to have players thrown under the bus because of the relegation. My aim is stay at Killie and help the club come straight back from the Championship next season but the club have now said I’ve moved on. I’d like the Killie fans to know it’s not the case that I have rejected the chance to stay at the club. The truth is that I wanted to be part of the plans for next season. I don’t want to get into any slagging matches but I know that contracts were offered to individuals and given a few hours to make a decision. Take it or leave it. That’s not the right way to treat people. The terms on offer in certain cases were vastly reduced, I’m close to certain players and it’s an embarrassment. They may say the budget remains the same and I wish Killie nothing but the best but they can’t be allowed to play with the truth when issuing statements about decisions they’ve taken which don’t represent the reality of the situation.”
Jan 21st 2022 Kyle Re-signs With Killie: Kyle Lafferty has signed a deal until the end of the season and is desperate to help Killie’s promotion push under our new manager.
Kyle said: “It’s a great feeling to be back at Kilmarnock, I feel I have unfinished business here. The last time I played here we were relegated, which was a low point in my career so to get the opportunity to fix that and get Killie promoted back to the Premiership is something I’m excited about. I’m a huge admirer of Derek and his work at Aberdeen and getting the chance to work with him is really exciting. Where he wants to take the club and how he saw me fitting in ticked all the boxes for me.”
Derek McInnes “I’m delighted to get Kyle on board and I think he’ll give us personality, presence and experience. We were looking for added goal threat and Kyle has been here before and done well. From speaking to him, he wanted to help Kilmarnock get back to the Premiership. He’s someone I’ve tried to work with before at different times and for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to do it. I want him to be a real positive influence on the team and I’m thrilled to get him on board to help us with our targets for the season.”
Lafferty, 34, scored 13 goals in 13 matches for Killie last season and is back in Ayrshire following a spell in Cyprus with Anorthosis Famagusta.
Kyle will wear the number 28 jersey, with Ross Smith out on loan at Stranraer.
Jan 22nd 2022: Kyle makes his "second" Killie debut as a second half sub, Vs the Arabs at Rugby Park in the Scottish Cup.
Jan 29th 2022: Kyle opens his account with his second stint at Killie with an 8th min goal, Vs Caley that turned out to be the match winner.
Feb 1st 2022: “I was obviously part of the team who got relegated and I didn't do enough to keep them up and a few of the lads are still here from last season so we are all wanting to get the team up. We're a Premiership team and yeah, if you want to call it unfinished business that's what it is. I've come here to score goals and help the team. It's good being back on the scoresheet, obviously getting a goal against anyone is good but against a team who will be obviously up at the top it's extra special and to get the three points, it's good.
On his Caley Goal: "Daniel did well, I've only seen it back (his goal) there and the cross is good and it just leaves a tap-in for me but I think the whole squad and even the players who came off the bench put in a great performance, and showed it's not about the XI players who start - it's the full squad this season and everyone's up for it. Obviously I enjoy getting goals at any time of the season but for some reason they always seem to come towards the end. Hopefully I get a few more but it's not all about me. I've come here to help the team - there are a lot of young players who will go on to have great careers and we have senior players in the team who want to add a promotion to their career CVs. So we have a mix of a good squad and we'll fight to the end.
On Derek McInnes:The manager is great. I've done a few things in training that I haven't done with a few, or any other managers. It's good. He's brought a lot of different ideas to my game and he's brought different ideas to the Kilmarnock team and I think if we want to get promoted, he's probably the right guy to be in charge.”
Mar 10th 2022: Kyle Lafferty is named Cinch Championship Player of the Month for Feb 2022.
Apr 21st 2022: "I came back to Kilmarnock to win the league and get them promoted again.
"I wasn't to come back and score goals for myself or from a personal point of view, it was to get a great club, a Premiership club, back to where they belong.
"If you can't get yourself up for a game like this, I think you have to look at yourself.
"Every single player, no matter what league or standard you play in, it is these games you want to play for and that you obviously want to play in.
"Arbroath have been there all season, they are a good team and we expect a tough game so it will be game on on Friday."
When asked about his future at the club and possibly another crack at top flight Scottish football, Lafferty explained: "I am just here to get Kilmarnock up to the Premiership and then if the manager want to sit down with me or the board want to sit down with me then I'm more than happy.
"I wanted to stay last season, things didn't work out so I am back to put things right this season.
"Hopefully it will be a good end to the season."
May 10th 2022: Kyle signs a 12 month contract extention with Killie.I'm delighted to sign a new contract and extend my stay with Kilmarnock.
"I’ve enjoyed every minute since coming back in January and winning the league title at Rugby Park in the way that we did was a really special night in my career.
"The manager has been fantastic with me and all the lads here and together with the support of the fans, we’re all looking forward to more exciting times in the Scottish Premiership."
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