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Player Profile: Kevin O’Connor

 

Having started his career in 2013 with Waterford in the League of Ireland, the Wexford born defender has gone on to develop into a solid left back within the League and is currently on loan again with Waterford from his parent club, Championship side Preston North End.

As referenced above, O’Connor signed for Waterford in 2013 making 43 appearances and scoring 3 goals in this stint.

He then moved on to sign with Cork City who were challenging for the League title with Dundalk at the time.

The left back became a regular in John Caulfield’s side and over the three seasons he featured 91 times for the Leesiders contributing 4 goals along the way including a goal against Hacken in the Europa League along with winning a League and Cup double.

This prompted Championship side Preston North End to bid for the left back which Cork City accepted for approx 90k. The deal was for three years.

O’Connor struggled to feature for Preston only appearing 8 times so decided that to go out on loan was the best option.

In England he had different spells on loan with Fleetwood Town & Crewe Alexandra before deciding to return on loan to Cork City in 2019.

He featured 19 times that season for the Leesiders.

Life has gone full circle for O’Connor as Preston have loaned him to his first club Waterford for the upcomimg 2020 League of Ireland season.

Speaking to WaterfordFC.ie, O’Connor spoke of how happy he was to return and for his goals for his time at the RSC.

“I’m delighted to be back, Waterford is a massive club and I’m over the moon to be finally back playing in the RSC. I started out my senior career here when I was 17, so for me, it’s massive to get to come back to play again.

Apart from his prowess in football, O’Connor is famous for winning €1 million in a lottery competition. He had received the raffle ticket as a present from his uncle and godfather Peadar. 

The Wexford-born footballer confirmed the ticket at Flanagan supermarket in Castlebridge where his uncle had purchased the ticket. Murphy bought the ticket on 14th December and gave it to his nephew as a Christmas present which surprisingly was a lucky win.

O’Connor could still not believe he was the winner two days after confirming the ticket. He explained that his mother  encouraged him to check the ticket after hearing the tickets were on sale in local stores.

Kevin further explained that since he had an upcoming game with Middlesbrough he put the excitement on hold until the final whistle. He visited his family briefly to celebrate and got a chance to visit the supermarket. 

O’Connor interacted with the supermarket’s Proprietor Louis Flanagan, early morning shoppers and the staff bringing the New Year’s excitement early.

Despite having won €1m on the Lotto, he stated that his focus was on helping Preston advance to the championship and later clinch a spot at the Premier League.

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