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After leaving St Mary's, Ciaran finished a book on Jose Mourinho, featuring 23 exclusive interviews with figures from his past, ranging from his university tutors to former Real Madrid goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

Despite achieving many plaudits for his book, Ciaran found it difficult to find a permanent sports journalism job back in his home country, Ireland. So he decided to take a trainee reporter role at the South Wales Argus in Newport, having never been to Wales previously.

Ciaran said: "It was incredibly varied and a great grounding: from murder trials and interviewing comedian Stewart Lee to Wales' Euro 2016 homecoming and chatting to the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones. After 18 months at the paper, I passed my NQJ in March 2016 and in August, I was offered the job at the Manchester Evening News, one of the most exciting patches in world football.

"I loved my time at St Mary's. It's become a cliché at this stage to talk about the community feel of the university, but it really helped me in moving away from home for the first time. As well as learning the crucial NCTJ skills from some really brilliant lecturers, the course also encouraged us to think creatively and think like trainee reporters. It gave me the confidence to believe a career in journalism really was for me".

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