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Christopher John "Chris" Killen (born 8 October 1981 in Wellingtonmarker) is a New Zealand international footballer who currently plays for Celtic as a striker.

Club career

Early career

Killen grew up in the Wellington suburb of Island Bay. As a youth he attended Rongotai Collegemarker, the same school as New Zealand football great Wynton Rufer. Killen represented the college in junior grades, and was selected to tour Australia with the New Zealand Secondary Schools representative team in 1998, along with future All Whites Leo Bertos and Tony Lochhead.

Killen played his club football for Miramar Rangers, whose coach arranged a trial with Manchester City. The trial was successful, and the 17 year old Killen joined City's youth academy. His first senior club appearances came during a loan spell at Wrexham in September 2000. He scored his first league goal on 9 September 2000 against Oldham, and in total scored three goals in nine appearances for the Welshmarker club. The following season he was loaned to Port Vale, scoring six goals in nine league games. In November 2001 he was recalled from loan as a number of Manchester City strikers were injured, and was a substitute in a 2–1 win against Rotherham United. he made two further substitute appearances that season, and finished as top goalscorer for the reserves.

Oldham Athletic

He joined Oldham Athletic in July 2002 for £250,000. He remained with Oldham for 3 and a half years, scoring 24 goals in 78 league appearances. Failing to match his price tag and seemingly high wage through continuous injury, Oldham no longer required his services and released him on a free transfer.

Hibernian

In January 2006, Killen joined Hibernian on a free transfer. He scored on his debut as he netted the third goal in Hibs' 3–0 defeat of Rangers at Ibroxmarker in the Scottish Cup 4th round in February 2006.His first home goal was the opener in a 7–0 win against Livingston four days later. Despite arriving in January, he had scored five goals for Hibs by the end of the season. He also scored the opening goal of Hibs 5–0 defeat of Latvia's Dinaburg in the Intertoto Cup second round game at Easter Roadmarker on 2 July 2006..

Following the departure of strikers Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan, Killen was expected to be an important player for Hibs in 2006–07. By December 2006 he had scored 11 goals, including two in a 2–1 win over Rangers. A ruptured achilles suffered in a 2–2 draw with Aberdeen in a Scottish Cup tie prematurely ended his season in January. Killen's contract with Hibernian expired in the summer of 2007, and he rejected the offer of a one-year extension from the Edinburghmarker club.

Celtic

Killen was expected to sign for Cardiff City, but he instead signed for Celtic on a three year contract. Killen made his debut on 5 August 2007, coming off the bench in a goalless draw against Kilmarnock at Celtic Parkmarker. His first goal for the club came on 7 October at Fir Parkmarker; with Celtic trailing 1–0 to , Killen equalised in the 89th minute before Scott McDonald scored the winner for Celtic in stoppage time. He made his UEFA Champions League debut for Celtic at the Estádio da Luzmarker against Benfica on 24 October.

After that, however, he found chances hard to come by as he found himself behind Scott McDonald, Georgios Samaras and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink in selection. Killen played mostly for the Celtic reserve team, but he scored a goal against in a pre-season friendly in May 2008. He hardly featured in the first team at all, leading to him being loaned out to Norwich City. At the end of the 2008–09 season, however, manager Gordon Strachan resigned from his position, and Celtic replaced him with Tony Mowbray, who had previously managed Killen at Hibernian.

Killen's hopes of regaining a first team place at Celtic for the 2009–10 season were boosted in pre-season friendly matches, as he scored two goals against Brisbane Roar and came off the bench to score in a 5–0 win against Al-Ahly. Killen then started Celtic's following preseason match against Spurs, and he opened the scoring in this match with a neat headed finish following a cross by defender Paul Caddis. Killen scored his first league goal at Celtic Parkmarker on 20 September, Celtic's first goal in a 2–1 win against Hearts.

Norwich City

On 31 January, 2009 Killen joined Championship side Norwich City on loan for the remainder of the 2008–09 season. Killen made his first appearance for Norwich in the 3–3 draw away to Wolverhampton on the 3 February. He returned to training with Celtic after only making four substitute appearances.

International career

Killen made his international debut for New Zealand during the 2000 OFC Nations Cup against Tahiti, three months before his first senior appearance at club level. He collected his 20th cap (8 goals) against Brazil on 4 June 2006.Killen was included in the New Zealand U-23 squad for their first appearance at the Olympic Games as one of 3 over age players, alongside Ryan Nelsen and Simon Elliott

He was named as part of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup New Zealand squad to travel to South Africa. Killen scored twice in their final warm up game, a 4–3 defeat against world champions Italy.

Honours



References



External links




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