Dream move for O'Connor
Wexford ace joins Preston
The talented young man many keen observers regard as the best soccer player to emerge from Wexford since Kevin Doyle has completed a dream move to Preston North End.
Cork City defender Kevin O'Connor from Screen signed on the dotted line for the English Championship club last week, the last player to be acquired by manager Simon Grayson who has moved on to Sunderland.
A lucrative three-year deal was confirmed on Friday, with O'Connor due to link up with his new club on July 24 along with Cork colleague Seán Maguire.
'I'm delighted to sign, it's a massive opportunity,' the 22-year-old said.
'I'm just looking forward to getting started now and I couldn't be happier to sign.
'From the first minute the club showed an interest in me they were keen to sign me and they were the ones who pursued it. It's a great club, a big club and there's a big fan base so I'm just excited to get started,' O'Connor added.
'I know a few of the boys already obviously with Seán (Maguire) moving over and Alan (Browne) already there, and that will help me settle in quicker. I also played against a couple of the boys last year - Boyle and Horgan - so I'm just looking forward to seeing all the lads now and getting started.'
Cork City manager John Caulfield is sorry to lose such a key figure in his team over the last two seasons as they continue their march towards a likely Premier Division title.
'While we never want a player to move on during the season, it shows how far the club has come and it is a fantastic deal for Kevin which puts him at a higher level.'
The talented left-back will continue to play with Cork for the next three weeks so he will be available for the second round qualifying games of the Europa League if they eliminate Levadia Tallinn in the second leg at Turner's Cross on Thursday.
O'Connor's move means the Wexford contingent on Leeside will be down to two, with Rossonians Ryan Delaney and Greg Bolger expected to play key roles for the remainder of the season.
In other transfer news closer to home, Enniscorthy teenager Aaron Dobbs has been signed on loan by Wexford F.C. for the remainder of the season from Shamrock Rovers.
The 18-year-old played at Senior level with the Tallaght club last season but hasn't figured on the field so far in 2017, although he has netted four times with their Under-19 side in the Southern Elite Division.
'I'm delighted to be here,' he said after becoming Damian Locke's sixth recent signing following the arrival of Aaron O'Connor, Dean Kelly, Mikey Byrne, A.J. Lehane and Conor Dunne.
'I've trained with the lads a few times already, and now that everything is completed I'm looking forward to getting out there on the pitch, hopefully scoring a few goals, and helping to move us up the table.'
Manager Locke said: 'I'm delighted to have Aaron here. Everyone knows what a talent he is, and I'm positive he'll be able to hit the ground running.
'We already have a some very good, young, hungry players here, and Aaron will add to that.'