Chris Killen: Providing the killer blow
New Zealand is no pushover with this muscular striker up front
Born: Oct 8, 1981, in Wellington, New Zealand
Clubs Played for: The New Zealand international has moved around Britain since arriving on the isle in 1999 and spending time in Manchester City's academy. Killen played with Wrexham, Port Vale and Oldham Athletic before finally establishing himself as a consistent striker with Hibernian in 2006. Injuries had blighted much of Killen's career up to that point, but that season Killer finished fifth on the Scottish Premier League scoring chart with 13 goals in 18 games. His impressive campaign with Hibs piqued Celtic interests, and Killen made the short trip to Parkhead. Again, however, injuries and inconsistency plagued Killen and scored only two goals in 33 league games with Celtic. In January, the striker signed with Middlesbrough, but has yet to find the same scoring touch he enjoyed at Hibs.
International career: With New Zealand, Killen has been more effective. Injuries have still been a burden, but in 30 appearances Killen has scored 10 goals. As New Zealand prepare for the World Cup, Killen, alongside Rory Fallon and Shame Smeltz give the All Whites a respectable forward thrust no country should dismiss.
Why is he so special? Killen is six feet of muscle. Regardless of niggling, persistent pains, the 28-year-old is impressive to look at on the football pitch: he has the body of a rugby player and throws aside weak opponents; but he also has the feet of dancer and floats past lesser players.
His most famous moment: Anyone ready to write off New Zealand as whipping boys should watch the All Whites brave performance in a 4-3 loss to a strong Italian side. Eyes should focus particularly on Killen, who scored twice and made the Azzurri anxious.
He said it: "New Zealand took the national team players to a safari camp in South Africa to prepare us for the World Cup qualifiers, and that was great for me. I knew I couldn't afford to take the summer off and not train because I'd missed too much playing time due to a knee operation."
What they’re saying about him: "Killen scores goals. He had a terrific goals record when he was at Hibs and he is working his way back to form here." Gordon Strachan, Middlesbrough manager
Here is an interesting fact: Although Killen's time with Celtic was unsuccessful, he did make enough appearances to win a league winner's medal after Celtic conquered the Scottish Premier League in 2006-2007.