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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020

Former Cork City full-back and recent Lotto winner O'Connor joins League One outfit on loan

He may not be the only Irish player to make the move away from Preston in the January transfer window.

Kevin O'Connor (file pic).
Kevin O'Connor (file pic).
Image: Martin Rickett

Updated at 20.03

KEVIN O’CONNOR HAS joined League One side Fleetwood Town on loan from Preston for the remainder of the season, it has been confirmed.

O’Connor only joined the Championship outfit in the summer from Cork City.

The 22-year-old full-back has made nine appearances in all competitions for Alex Neil’s side, but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Deepdale.

The recent return of Ireland international Greg Cunningham from injury means opportunities for O’Connor in his favoured left-back role have been further limited of late, while the Wexford native has also faced competition from 19-year-old Josh Earl.

“It is a place I am really happy to come to,” he said, in quotes reported by the Lancashire Evening Post.

“I was talking to (Preston player) Ben Davies about it and he said it was a great club.

“The way the gaffer wants to play is great.

“Their left-back moved on earlier in the transfer window and they were in touch for a few weeks so I’m happy to get the deal done.

“I just want to get out there and play a few more regular games.

“It is confidence really just playing week in week out.

“At Preston I didn’t really get too much of a run of games and your confidence obviously drains from that not playing just training but a run of games is what every footballer wants, just to get out there and show what they can do.

“The confidence comes back then and that is when you play your best football.”

The move comes after previous Fleetwood left-back Amari’i Bell left the club to move to Blackburn last week in a £300,000 deal.

O’Connor recently made headlines for non-footballing reasons, when he was announced as the winner of the €1 million National Lottery raffle.

“Kevin is very talented, he has a great left foot and brings everything we want into the team,” manager Uwe Rosler told Fleetwood’s official site.

“We’ve been monitoring him for a while now and are delighted to have him at Fleetwood Town.”

O’Connor may not be the only Irish player to make the move away from Preston in the January transfer window.

Former Dundalk centre-back and Ireland international, Andy Boyle, who has also found first-team opportunities at Deepdale limited, having joined the club just over a year ago from Stephen Kenny’s side, has been linked with a move to League One club Walsall.

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Paul Fennessy

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