Michael O’Connor set for Rovers exit?

Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS

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Finn Harps may be set to land a major coup ahead of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League First Division season following the appearance of Shamrock Rovers striker Michael O’Connor for the Donegal club in a pre-season friendly versus Sligo Rovers last night.

O’Connor was a shock inclusion on Ollie Horgan’s Harps team sheet in Sligo last night as the former Dundalk striker started up front for the First Division promotion hopefuls in a 2-1 defeat.

Give the fact that English League one side Rotherham this morning confirmed that they did indeed have O’Connor over on trial recently and would continue to keep tabs on the striker, the nineteen-year-olds sudden appearance in the Blue and White of Harps has shocked many. Speaking to www.thestar.co.uk Rotherham manager Paul Warne confirmed:

“There was interest from us. He (O’Connor) came and trained with us for a few days. He played in a behind-closed-doors game. I didn’t see enough of him in that to offer him a deal.”

“We tried to get him over again to play in our reserves but because of international football law we couldn’t. Regrettably, I just hadn’t seen enough to offer him anything. We can revisit it. of weeks so we can keep an eye on him and see how he gets on. He’s quite a feisty little kid, so I liked him.”

However, O’Connor’s appearance for Harps last night now throws doubt over the Dundalk natives Tallaght future. One suggestion is that O’Connor, who signed from Dundalk last winter, could be farmed out on loan to the First Division club as Rovers look to sign one if not two high-profile players from British football. Not only would this allow O’Connor, who played second fiddle to ex-Longford striker Gary Shaw last season, a chance for more game time but it would allow Rovers to recoup a transfer fee should Rotherham or any other club come calling for O’Connor, who was linked with moves to both Cardiff City and Burnley last season.

O’Connors Shamrock Rovers team-mates are currently in Portugal for the pre-season Atlantic cup competition. Should a deal be struck between the ‘’Hoops’’ and Harps it would see Michael O’Connor reunited with his brother Ciaran, who made the decision to leave Dundalk in the off-season.