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1516 burnley michael kightly 00 630x420Michael Kightly, who was released by the Clarets this week, has now been playing league football for over 14 years having made his debut for Southend United in a 1-0 defeat at Exeter City at the end of the 2002/03 season.

He didn’t initially go onto better things. He made just 13 league appearances for them, of which only two were starts, before dropping into non-league football with Farnborough, on loan, and then Grays who he joined permanently in the summer of 2005.

Just over a year later he was snapped up by Mick McCarthy at Wolves and he’s gone on to play Premier League and Championship football with them, Stoke and Burnley with loans at Watford and Burton along the way.

He’s now a free agent, and current Southend boss Phil Brown is keen to take the Basildon born Kightly back to Essex although fears he may struggle to get him to return.

Brown said yesterday: “Michael Kightly has the quality and experience I would like to bring to the club but I would imagine he would have a lot of clubs after him from a higher level. He may be too expensive for us in terms of wages but he’s certainly someone I’m interested in.”

It is thought that Burton, where Kightly ended last season, are also keen to take him back to the Pirelli Stadium.

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