Michael O'Connor joins Harps on loan

Tue, Feb 06 2018

Michael O'Connor in action against Burnley Credit: Al Robinson

Finn Harps have secured the services of striker Michael O’Connor who has signed a loan deal with the Ballybofey based club from Shamrock Rovers.


19-year-old O’Connor, who joined the Hoops from Dundalk for the start of the 2017 season, got limited game time in Tallaght last year. While he played 30 games in total, in only six matches did he make the Rovers starting lineup.


“I’d like to wish everyone at Shamrock Rovers all the best for the season and I’d like to thank the fans as well for everything,” said O’Connor on twitter.


“I’m now looking forward to my loan move to Finn Harps and helping them get promotion back to the Premier Division. Looking forward to it and can’t wait to get going.”


He made just three starts in the league, along with 18 substitute appearances, and scored three league goals and one FAI Cup goal – and he was sent off for the Rovers in a league game in Bray. O’Connor scored on his first league appearance at Tallaght Stadium for Rovers in their 2-1 win over Bohemians and he also scored in the 3-1 home league win against Cork City.


His other league goal came against the club he will be lining out for when the season kicks off. He got the only goal in Rovers’ 1-0 win in Finn Park last June. He will now get to link up with his brother Ciarán who is also on the books at Finn Harps.


There had been speculation that O’Connor would sign for an English club over the winter. He had trained with Burnley for a short spell in 2017 having performed well when Sean Dyche’s side played a friendly against Rovers last summer.


League One side Rotherham had also taken a look at the player over the winter and while they decided not to sign the player, the club have said they will continue to watch out for the teenager.


“There was interest from us,” said Rotherham boss Paul Warne speaking to The Star in the UK. “He came and trained with us for a few days. He played in a behind-closed-doors game.


“I didn’t see enough of him in that to offer him a deal. We can keep an eye on him and see how he gets on. He’s quite a feisty little kid, so I liked him.”

O’Connor was previously on the books with Bristol City before being part of Dundalk’s under 19 squad in 2015. He made his league debut with Dundalk in April 2016.


In total he made three league appearances that year and scored four goals, three of which came in cup competitions. He also appeared in Dundalk's Champions League qualifier against Legia Warsaw.