The Graduates: No.10 Willo Flood
- 09 October 2011 12:02
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Willo Flood may not have established himself at City after emerging from the Academy, but he has still carved out a respectable career on both sides of the border.
The Dublin-born midfielder was spotted by City’s talent scouts playing for Cherry Orchard, a junior Irish club who would supply the Blues with a number of promising youngsters, and the talented right winger signed on as a schoolboy.
Though slightly-built, Flood was a fine dribbler at youth level and he gradually worked his way into then-manager Kevin Keegan’s thinking during the close season of 2003 where he featured in several pre-season squads.
Aged 18, his first team debut came alongside fellow countryman and Academy graduate Glenn Whelan in the first competitive game against Welsh minnows Total Network Solutions in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup.
Thereafter, Flood made sporadic appearances for the first team, finding the net in the Premier League against Norwich and the Carling Cup against Barnsley, but he couldn’t win a regular starting place.
His physical make-up seemed too light for the top-flight and loan spells with Rochdale and Coventry failed to advance his claims at City meaning a parting of ways was inevitable in 2006.
Cardiff City paid £200,000 for Flood and he made 25 appearances for Dave Jones’ side in his first season in South Wales, but a season-long loan move to Dundee United followed in 2007 - and again in 2008 - and it paid off.
Despite being sent off on his debut for the Terrors, Flood played more than 56 times in two spells that would stand him in good stead later in his career
His performances in the Scottish Premier League won him a dream move to Celtic, but he only stayed at Parkhead for one season, making just a handful of appearances.
Gordon Strachan clearly liked what he had seen of Flood while in charge of the Hoops and he took Flood back south of the border to Middlesbrough in January 2010, but his time on Teesside only lasted until the end of the following season when he was released.
Perhaps the one club Flood really made an impression at - Dundee United - quickly moved to secure the winger’s signature and he is now a first-team regular at Tannadice.
Still aged just 26, Flood has plenty of time to add yet more chapters to his (thus far) nomadic career.