Sunday 20 October 2019

O'Connor joins Premier outfit

All-rounder moves to Cork

Kevin O'Connor is welcomed to Cork City by manager John Caulfield
Kevin O'Connor is welcomed to Cork City by manager John Caulfield
Kevin O’Connor challenges Andreas Pereira of Manchester United during a friendly in his time with former club Waterford United

Curracloe lad Kevin O'Connor has described signing for Cork City as a great opportunity.

The 19-year-old said it will be a big step up for him, but added that he is looking forward to the challenge in an interview with the official club website shortly after the announcement on Friday.

The Wexford native previously played for Waterford United, making 22 first team appearances for them in each of the last two seasons. And he will be hoping to follow in a similar career path as the last Model county man to play with the Leeside club, Kevin Doyle.

Cork City's gain is undoubtedly a loss for the Shelmaliers and Wexford Gaelic football teams though as O'Connor is unlikely to figure with either now for the rest of the season.

He had scored six points in the Shels' runaway first round championship win over Adamstown but didn't figure seven days later in the victory against Sarsfields.

Earlier in the year he had made his inter-county Senior debut in the Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup against D.I.T., and scored three points so far including two from frees in his sole National League appearance off the bench against Armagh.

He missed out on the Leinster Under-21 championship loss to Laois though as he was on trial with English Championship title contenders Bournemouth at the time.

The left-sided player told that he is looking forward to the challenge of trying to nail down a place in the team: 'There's a great team and a great bunch of lads here. It will be tough to break into the team, but I will put my head down and work hard and hopefully I can get somewhere.

'My first target is to try to break into the squad; if I can do that, I can try to get into the starting eleven, and if I do that, then try to hold down a position and push on from there.

'It's a great opportunity for me; it is a big club. The move from the First Division to the Premier Division is a big step, but I am looking forward to the challenge. The club is pushing for the league as well, so that is a bonus and hopefully we can go one better than last year!'

City boss John Caulfield said he believes that the 19-year-old will be a big asset to his squad, saying: 'I'm delighted to have Kevin on board. He's a smashing lad; strong, quick, left-footed and gives us huge options on the left side.

'He's a young boy, still learning the game, but he has played two seasons with Waterford in the First Division and has a lot of games under his belt. He's been in training with us for a couple of weeks; he has done really well and I think the fans will be excited when they see him in action.'

O'Connor, who will celebrate his 20th birthday on May 7, scored twice for Waterford United in last year's Division 1 campaign, away to Wexford Youths in a 3-1 win in May and home to Galway in a 1-1 draw in July. However, our south-east neighbours finished a disappointing seventh in the eight-team division.

Wexford People

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