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Michael O'Connor enjoying home comforts after return home to sign for Glenavon

 

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CONN DO ATTITUDE: Michael O’Connor put pen to paper with Gary Hamilton’s side this summer

CONN DO ATTITUDE: Michael O’Connor put pen to paper with Gary Hamilton’s side this summer

CONN DO ATTITUDE: Michael O’Connor put pen to paper with Gary Hamilton’s side this summer

Former international midfielder Michael O'Connor says it feels good to be home after 16 years away from his native Northern Ireland.

The ex-Scunthorpe United, Crewe and Rotherham man, who won 11 caps for his country, signed a three-year deal with Glenavon which will see the 32-year-old Belfast man hook up with former international colleague Sammy Clingan, who had a hand in bringing O'Connor to Mourneview Park.

"I spoke to Sammy about coming home to Northern Ireland and he said I would really enjoy my game at Glenavon," explains O'Connor.

"I spoke to Gaz (Gary Hamilton) and Maccers (Paul McAreavey) about joining Glenavon and it just felt right.

"I was always going to come home, the coronavirus pandemic just hastened my move. I had offers from clubs in League Two but I wanted to come home, that was the bottom line.

"They are a great set of lads at Mourneview, that was one of the reasons I spoke to Glenavon after speaking to Sammy."

O'Connor will step out for the Lurgan Blues next week but he had anticipated returning to Northern Ireland to play for the Belfast Blues, reigning champions Linfield.

"It's a strange one," he admits. "For the last few years, I have got an email from Linfield asking me if I was coming back. I texted David Healy in March to say I would be coming home and he told me he wanted to sign me, but at that stage the outcome of the League had not been settled.

"Two months later, I texted David again but he never got back to me. That was disappointing.

"Tiernan Lynch also asked if he could speak to me but never got back and then, two days after I spoke to Gaz, David Jeffrey rang me.

"But I had shaken hands with Gary and I didn't want to go back on my word to him and David was very understanding."

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