O'Connor vows to prove Ipswich wrong after wrapping up Cork switch
HE was once hailed by Roy Keane as an example to all young players, but yesterday Shane O'Connor signed for his hometown club Cork City in an attempt to reignite his career after his Ipswich Town dream turned sour.
The Ireland U-21 international took to Twitter to aim a parting shot at Paul Jewell. Among other things, O'Connor described his former manager as "not his favourite person" and vowed to "get back to England and prove the doubters wrong".
City beat off competition from Shamrock Rovers and Derry City to sign the 21-year-old left-sided player, who can play at full-back or on the wing.
His capture is a coup for Tommy Dunne, who is looking to build a primarily local squad that can compete in the Premier Division after City's promotion as champions. O'Connor joins former Ipswich team-mate Colin Healy in a formidable looking midfield.
"Bringing Shane in with his experience from England and him being a left-sided player adds to the balance we need this season. He's a Cork lad and that means we have a decent squad, primarily with Cork-based players," he said.
O'Connor made 17 appearances for Ipswich after pestering Keane into giving him a trial. The Manchester United legend was so impressed by his fellow Corkman's persistence that he handed him a contract and had the faith to start him in a number of key games, including an FA Cup trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.
And although his career at Portman Road stalled, O'Connor reckons he's taking a step back to go forward and kick-start his career.
"My ambition was to go to England when I was younger and that is still there now. I feel like I have unfinished business over there," he said.
"Coming back to Cork will give me the best opportunity to get back. Playing under Roy Keane is something I'll always cherish, he did a lot for me. Some managers don't like you, they bring in their own players and I've been low on confidence the last six months, so I think coming to a place where you feel wanted again was important."
Dunne is still in the market for a striker after losing Graham Cummins to Preston in midweek, while Vinny Sullivan and Jamie Murphy have signed new contracts.