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Dublin: 2 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Cork native O'Connor leaves Scotland to join League One club

The defender turned down a new deal at Aberdeen to move south to Bradford.

O'Connor played 38 league games for Aberdeen last season.
O'Connor played 38 league games for Aberdeen last season.
Image: Vagelis Georgariou

IRISH DEFENDER ANTHONY O’Connor has ended his two-year stay with Aberdeen to join League One outfit Bradford City ahead of next season.

The 25-year-old was highly rated at Aberdeen and manager Derek McInnes was keen to retain his services beyond this year, but O’Connor has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal with Bradford.

An Ireland U21 international, O’Connor moved to Blackburn in 2008 but didn’t make a senior appearance for the club, before having loan spells with Plymouth, Torquay and Burton.

He then became a regular at Aberdeen, featuring 38 times in the Scottish Premiership last term, and attracted the attention of clubs down south, with Bradford — currently without a manager — moving quickly to secure his signature.

“It’s always a good sign when a manager is upset to lose a player and I know that Aberdeen definitely wanted to keep the lad,” Bradford’s head of recruitment, Greg Abbott, said.

“It’s no surprise he’s so well thought of because he is a really good professional, and he’s a tough kid. He’s got a great character and brings some real presence and pace to our back line.”

“Adding Anthony to the group of lads we’ve already got here means we’ve got some really good options in defensive areas.”

After finishing 11th in League One last season, Bradford are currently in the process of recruiting a new manager following the departure of Simon Grayson.

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