Rochdale sign highly sought-after defender

Picture courtesy of Rochdale Football Club

Rochdale have announced yet another addition to their squad ahead of the new season with the capture of highly sought-after defender Eoghan O’Connell.

The 23-year old Irishman arrives at the Crown Oil Arena on a two-year deal having turned down a whole host of offers from other clubs.

O’Connell arrives having spent last season at Bury, where he played 35 times for the Shakers, helping them to promotion to League One.

He started his professional career at Celtic, having moved there when he was just 16.

After coming through their academy setup, he went on to make 13 appearances for the Parkhead first team including featuring in the Champions League.

He’s also spent time out on loan at Oldham Athletic, Walsall and his hometown club of Cork City.

Speaking to the club’s official website O’Connell said: “I’m looking forward to working under Brian Barry-Murphy and I’m delighted to get the deal done. I’ve known Brian for a while and it’s very exciting what he’s trying to do here.

“He was a huge factor in the move, to be honest, and I couldn’t wait to get the deal done.

“I think we’ve got some very good players here as well, so once we get through pre-season and get started, hopefully it will be a good season.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to has said how good a coach he [Barry-Murphy] is, and I’ve seen how good a job he did when he took over as manager last season. It just shows the ability he has, and obviously the lads did brilliantly as well.

“I’m an ambitious person, as is Brian, and with everyone working together, hopefully we’ll go as far as we can.”

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy added: “I’m ecstatic to have been able to secure the services of Eoghan. It’s a position [right-sided centre-half] that we’ve been very conscious that we needed to recruit in,” said Barry-Murphy.

“That was the number one priority, and Eoghan was the number one target. If I’m being honest, for a lot of the summer I didn’t think we would be able to acquire him, but the fact that it has come to fruition is testament to his commitment towards us.

“There were a lot of opportunities for him to go elsewhere and no doubt there were better financial options, but he’s shown a hunger to come and join our Club. He also has an admiration for a lot of our players, which is very exciting.”

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