Eoghan O’Connell has left Celtic, where he has been for the last six years in favour of League 1 side Bury.
First team football wasn’t really on offer at Celtic but a loan move to Cork City last year slightly changed things. He had an impressive spell with the League of Ireland club and on his return to Scotland, O’Connell played a number of first team matches including a pre-season game against Barcelona in the Camp Nou. However, opportunities became limited with a relatively strong squad at the club and the player was sent out on loan with League 1 side Walsall.
O’Connell made 17 appearances and scored two goals during his time at the club. It would seem that he also grabbed the attention of another League 1 side in Bury in the process. The former Cork City player has signed a three year contract with the club in a deal that will keep him there until 2020.
O’Connell made 13 appearances for Celtic in a brief first team career, the most significant of these coming in the aforementioned 7-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the Camp Nou last year.
Having played him in a number of pre-season games and a few league games, Brendan Rogers seemed to be rather impressed with the former Ireland u-21 international. He singled him out for praise on a number of occasions however he probably was never part of the manager’s long term plans at the club.
A fresh start may be just what the player needs, with the opportunity of more game time a likely factor in his move away from Scotland.
The agenda for O’Connell now is to get into the first XI at Bury however, a long term goal of his may be to play with a more prestigious club and become a full international.
At the age of 21, with plenty of talent at his disposal, there’s no reason why we won’t see this man back in the green of Ireland at some time in the future.
Conor Daly, Pundit Arena