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Club News

Ronan’s Revival Mission

Revitalised forward aims for three in three

15 February 2024

Club News

Ronan’s Revival Mission

Revitalised forward aims for three in three

15 February 2024

Two real career highlights for Ronan Curtis came two years apart, but the Irish international attacker has certainly experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in between those memorable goals.

When Ronan broke a Portsmouth goalscoring record back in January 2022, it appeared that he would be at the heart of the South Coast club’s ongoing bid to reach the Championship, but a serious ACL injury interrupted his progress.

Fast forward two years and Ronan’s debut goal for Wimbledon has provided the platform for him to reignite his career after a dark spell that was lifted by spending time with his young son Malachi.

In case you missed Ronan's first interview for our programme, it's well worth a read - and you can watch him bid to make it three goals in three home games on Saturday.

Dons versus Morecambe Tickets

Ronan spoke passionately about recapturing the form that made him one of the hottest properties in the lower leagues after 57 goals for Pompey, why he feels at home with Wimbledon, and his interests away from football.

How did your football talents first get spotted?

I was playing in youth competitions over in Ireland for a club called Swilly Rovers and Derry City came in for me. I signed for Derry at the age of 17 and that was when my career really got going. I came off the bench a few times, and the season after that was when I started playing regularly. 

My Dad is English and Mum is Irish. I was born in London and brought up in Croydon, but I moved to Ireland when I was seven or eight. I have a big family with 11 siblings, six boys, so football was always a big thing in my house!

Was it always going to be a career in football for you, or were there any other options that you wanted to pursue?

My Dad owns a building company, so that was always a back-up life for me. I helped out at times, but football was always my number one choice because I loved the game so much.

You became a real favourite with Portsmouth supporters during your time there. What are your stand-out memories?

When I came back over to England I was only 21. I enjoyed my football and rewarding the fans for their support by scoring and setting up goals. To break the record for most Pompey goals scored by a single player in the 21st century - to be alongside big names at Portsmouth - was a real honour for me and my family. That’s something I’ll never forget. I had great times there, playing with Lee Brown, who I’m back here with, and I’m fully focused on my football at Wimbledon now. My son Malachi was born in Portsmouth, 16 months ago now, so the place means a lot to me.

Ronan celebrations 2.jpg

After suffering a serious ACL injury 12 months ago, is it fair to say that the past year has been a bit of a rollercoaster?

It has been a crazy past year or so. I was coming up towards the end of my contract and I suffered an ACL injury in a match against Bolton. Being out of contract and without a club was quite tough for me and my family to take, but having the little man made it a lot easier to be fair! My family picked me up when I really needed it, and it’s great to be back playing again.

I was out for around 10 months, so it was frustrating. It was difficult seeing the lads go out on the grass for training and gearing up for matches while I was doing my rehab.

I’ve had to meet a lot of challenges in my life. Moving over to Ireland when I was a kid and then joining Portsmouth at the age of 20, I’ve had to show what I’m about. Now I’ve had to bounce back from a serious injury to get back to doing what I love and I’m determined to push on again.

Wimbledon is only your third professional club, so are you planning to stick around for a while?

I like to get settled in at a club and make an impression. The main thing is that I enjoy my football - that’s always the aim whatever club that I’m with. I want to get back to doing what I do best and hopefully I can do that for Wimbledon.

I had a few other options, but the manager and staff here let me come in for training and they didn’t have to do that. I trained for about six weeks before signing here and I was determined to reward that faith in me. The gaffer and his coaching team gave me a nice welcome and I’ve been made to feel at home. It also helped that I know Browny, Alex Bass, and Bobby Bacic, from my time at Portsmouth.

At the age of only 27, do you think your peak years as a footballer are still to come?

Yes, because every day I’m getting fitter and stronger. The knee feels back to normal now, I’m just looking forward to playing regularly again, so that I can score and set-up goals for Wimbledon.

And what a way to start! How did it feel to score on your debut for us?

It was surreal – crazy really – and it’s hard to describe the emotions. I didn’t know what to do when I scored because it had been that long! It was nice to have everyone around me, going mad after the game, and to see all the fans celebrating. It was lovely and hopefully there will be more moments like that to come. The stadium here is unbelievable, I’ve enjoyed meeting staff and fans, so now I want to help the Club to climb the leagues.

Ronan goal.jpg

It was a real poacher’s goal that you scored on your debut. For those who haven’t seen you play, what are your key strengths?

For my most of my career, I’ve played off the left wing, either cutting in and shooting, or going down the line. I always try to make sure that I’m in the six-yard box, so that I’m in the positions to score goals.

Do you hold high hopes that you will get back into the international fold with Republic of Ireland?

I’ve been away from international football for around a year to a year and a half, so it would be nice to be called up and play for my country again. I have 10 caps so far – the highlight was probably when I walked onto the pitch for my debut and sung the national anthem. A lot of my family were there, so it meant a lot to me. A few of them want to come over and watch me play at Plough Lane, so hopefully that will happen soon.

What are the main things you do away from football?

I watch a lot of football, but most of my time away from football now is spent with my son Malachi and the family. I play a bit of golf here and there and last summer I went to Wimbledon tennis with my missus and we really enjoyed it. We got to see Novak Djokovic, so that was a great experience, and she will probably want to go again this year!

When I was growing up in Ireland I would play Gaelic Football and Hurling, but football was always at the forefront for me.

What are your ambitions at Wimbledon and for your career?

I want to help the lads by chipping in with goals and assists, so that we rise up the table and get promoted – that’s the aim.

Different managers have different style and tactics, but I’m adapting well to what the gaffer here wants. Before I came here I went to a few Wimbledon games, so I know what style the manager wants to play and what he is all about. For me, it is just about fitting in effectively and helping the lads out.

Is there a goals target that you’ve set for yourself?  

Every attacking player or goalscorer has their targets – and hopefully I can get between eight and 10 goals during the rest of this season.

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