Former Shamrock Rovers striker Michael O'Connor joins Waterford on loan from Linfield

Sat, Jul 13 2019

O'Connor has represented Ireland up to under-21 level. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Waterford manager Alan Reynolds has addressed his striking woes with the addition of former Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk attacker Michael O’Connor on loan until the end of the season.

O’Connor will fill the gap left by the return of Aaron Drinan to Ipswich Town and the release of Izzy Akinade as part of the deal that saw Bastien Héry join Linfield for an undisclosed fee.

Republic of Ireland under-21 internationalist O’Connor has had a nomadic existence since making his debut for Dundalk in a Champions League play-off against Legia Warsaw in 2016.

The former St Kevin’s Boys youth left for Shamrock Rovers on a two-year deal the following season but, following a loan spell with Finn Harps, left in the middle of the 2018 season for Linfield.

21-year-old O’Connor won a league title with the Blues in 2018-19 but has fallen behind Jordan Stewart, Andrew Waterworth and new arrival Shayne Lavery in the pecking order at Windsor Park.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be here,” O’Connor told the Blues’ official website.

“It’s a different challenge for me and I just can’t wait to get going. I know some of the lads already from being in with the Irish U21s and being around the league before.

“There’s been a really good intensity to training. The fans will see a hard worker, I’ll give everything I can for the club and I’m going to try score as many goals for the club as I can.

“I’ve been really impressed with the everything since I’ve come in, they facilities are really good and the pitch is excellent.

“I spoke to Rennie and I like the way he wants his teams to play so I just can’t wait to get on the pitch.”

Reynolds added: “We’re delighted to get Michael in. We’ve made no secret that we’ve been trying to get a striker in and Michael fits what we’ve been looking at.

“He’s strong and athletic and can score goals. He trained with the lads and had fitted in well so we think he’ll be another good signing for us after we brought in Sam, Tom and Will last week.”