Derry City: Ciaran O’Connor aims to shoot struggling City towards safety

NEW STRIKER. . . .Ciaran O'Connor is eager to get on the goal trail at Derry City. DER3115MC003 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)
NEW STRIKER. . . .Ciaran O'Connor is eager to get on the goal trail at Derry City. DER3115MC003 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)

ON LOAN Derry City striker, Ciaran O’Connor, has urged Peter Hutton to take a chance on him and throw him straight into the action so he can prove he has what it takes to become a top marksman in the League of Ireland.

The 19 year-old Dundalk man signed a three month loan deal last Thursday to become Peter Hutton’s fifth signing of the July Transfer Window and he’s determined to grab his chance at Brandywell with both hands.

The highly rated striker was handed a new contract by Dundalk boss, Stephen Kenny prior to agreeing to his loan spell on Foyleside and he arrives with the intention of raising his profile in the league.

Struggling to break into a richly talented Dundalk team, O’Connor went on to enjoy a highly successful season with Warrenpoint Town last year and now he’s eager to make his mark in the League of Ireland top flight.

Having netted against some of the best sides in the Irish League last year, he is confident he can prove to be a worthy addition to Hutton’s side.

“I know I can play at the highest level,” claimed the new Derry recruit. “Derry is a massive club so I was surprised when Stephen Kenny told me they were interested to take me up and get them a few goals which takes them up the table.

“I was with Warrenpoint last year. So coming to Derry is a totally new experience for me. It’s my first time being away from home. When I was with Warrenpoint I didn’t have to leave home.

“It was a great experience for me. I played against the big sides in the Irish League and scored a few goals against the big sides as well.”

Mark Quigley is edging ever nearer to full fitness and given Mark Timlin’s superb brace against Longford Town at the weekend, he understands he won’t be guaranteed a start against Galway United this Friday night.

But he believes he’s got the ability to score goals with the ‘Candy Stripes’ and help Hutton’s troops climb the Premier Division table.

“I’m hoping I’m in the squad for the Galway game. Obviously I can’t complain if I don’t start because they got the win against Longford. But hopefully if I do come on I can produce the goods.”

O’Connor trained with the first team yesterday morning and he feels he’s already settling into his new surroundings with the help of fellow Co. Louth man, Conor McCormack.

“The boys have been great to me. I was training with the lads today (Monday). I knew Ciaran McCormack before I came up and he introduced me to the boys so I’m happy enough.

“The move all happened so quick,” he explained. “It happened on the Thursday when Stephen Kenny called me in and asked me to go up to Derry so it was a big decision I had to make in such a short space of time. But I’m hoping to get game time up here - that’s the main thing.

“There’s a lot of competition for places which keeps everyone on their toes. I’m well capable of scoring goals so, hopefully, I can take my place up front and get some goals which will help Derry City stay in the Premier Division.”

Derry manager, Hutton was delighted to bring him on board.

“He did well with Warrenpoint last season and he has good physicality. He’s been fairly unlucky in that the guys in ahead of him are doing the business at Dundalk.

“He hasn’t really had much of a look-in this season but he’s one they certainly rated highly.

“He has that versatility and can play in a number of roles but he’s adapted as a central striker in this last year or two. So I think he will fit in really well. It’s important we have options up there.”

Despite the arrival of O’Connor, it appears Hutton isn’t yet finished adding to his squad with former Hartlepool United striker, Callum Hassan currently on trial with the club.

The bustling 6ft 4in striker was on Newcastle’s books before spending four years at Hartlepool before being released at the end of last season.