Lillywhite Ciaran O’Connor has goals in his mind for Finn Harps stay

first_imgCiaran O’Connor’s time in the Finn Harps number 10 shirt could be short – but the on-loan striker wants to make a real mark at Finn Park.O’Connor is in Ballybofey until the summer transfer window from Dundalk.After an injury-hit 2016, he wants to use his time at Harps to get back into the Lilywhites’ plans again. His season hasn’t started too shabbily at all. After an industrious display on the opening night against Cork, O’Connor scored twice in last Friday’s 5-3 loss to Bray.The striker doesn’t want to be here for the long haul, but his reasoning is understandable.He hails from the Bay Estate in Dundalk and his hometown club – with whom he signed a two-year contract in 2015 – have won the last three League titles, not to mention reaching this season’s Europa League group phase.“It’s important that I score goals when I’m here, for me to get back to where I’m supposed to be,” O’Connor says. “That’s the plan. My main aim is to get back into the Dundalk side.“That’s where I want to be. That’s where my club is and where the football is being played.“If I can score goals here, it’s good for everyone: Finn Harps will get goals and hopefully results; and hopefully Stephen Kenny will see what I’m doing and maybe give me a chance.”As a Dundalk boy born and bread, the glory days have given him a real thirst to get back to Oriel Park – even if he had a strange sense of mixed emotions.He says: “It was unreal to be part of a side that won the League three years in a row. I’ve three League medals. It was great to be a part of it, but you don’t feel as if you put in the work. “You sort of feel half-a-part of it, even though it was going to be tough to get into that side anyway with the quality that they have.“The injury was tough last year, but as a hometown boy in Dundalk being involved in that side was unreal. I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I’d have liked to.”The 20-year-old spent a lot of time on the treatment table last year, owing to ankle ligament and metatarsal injuries.He says: “I was talking to Stephen Kenny about going out on loan. Ciaran Kilduff and David McMillan were doing so well and it was going to be tough to get in. “I said about sending me out on loan to see what’d happen.”In January, it emerged that Harps was a possibility.O’Connor has been out on loan twice before – at Warrenpoint Town and at Derrt City – and it was a relationship forged at Brandywell that is to thank for his moving to Finn Park.He says: “Finn Harps weren’t on my mind at the time. I’d have been close to Paul Hegarty from my time at Derry. He called me up and asked me if I’d fancy coming up and giving Harps a crack.“I enjoyed my time at Derry and enjoyed my football when Paul had me there.“He gave me a big chance at Derry and he had faith in me. Derry is a massive club so that was obviously a big honour for me at 17, 18. When Paul showed that interest in me again, I thought: ‘Why not?’“It’s a big move and a tough commitment. I have a girlfriend back in Dundalk, but she knows what I’m here for.“I’m at Finn Harps to get myself back on the scoresheet week-in, week-out and to get feeling the love for the game again. Last year was a disaster for me so I hope that something can come out of it. It’s tough living away from home, but I’m here for work. This is my life, my bread and butter.”He’s upped sticks and moved up to the North-West and is living with Danny Morrissey, Ethan Boyle, Caolan McAleer and Killian Cantwell.He says: “I’m liking it here and the boys have all made me feel very welcome. I’m getting on well with the lads and the craic is 90.“It’s great for team spirit and you need the bit of craic in the team to gel.”Harps mightn’t have any points on the board yet, but O’Connor is hopeful for the road ahead, with a busy period in the coming weeks.He says: “Look, we know it isn’t going to be easy and we know that every game will be tough. I was aware of that when I came here. We have a group of lads, a lot of young lads, who are willing to put in the work and commit themselves. I’ve no doubt that results will start to go our way now.“I have no doubt in my mind that the club is going forward here and I do think that things will click. It’s going to be a tough journey, but we’re willing to work for it.“I think that it’s a team that has ability – and it will get results. It’s a matter of things turning in our way. We didn’t create too much against Cork, the Bray game could have went either way, but we’re getting there.”O’Connor has a famous number on his back having been given the number 10 shirt vacated by Harps legend Kevin McHugh but, in that distinctive Dundalk tone, he outlines that he’s not weighed down.He says: “People said I had big boots to fill. I strive to be the best I can be. I believe in myself 100% and look it’s an honour to get that jersey. He’s a legend at the club. I will do the best I can do and I’ll do what I can do for the club.”Lillywhite Ciaran O’Connor has goals in his mind for Finn Harps stay was last modified: March 9th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ciaran O’ConnorDundalkfinn harpsKevin McHughOllie Horganlast_img read more