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James O'Connor turned down football league offers for Kidderminster Harriers

By Joseph Masi | Kidderminster Harriers | Published:

New recruit James O’Connor has revealed he turned down offers from League One and League Two because of the challenge on offer at Kidderminster Harriers.

James O'Connor (AMA)

The defender put pen to paper on three-year deal at Aggborough on Monday having spent the past fortnight training with John Eustace’s side.

O’Connor joined Walsall from Derby in 2014 – with the 32-year-old becoming one of the most consistent defenders in League One during his time at Banks’s Stadium.

But he was told by Saddlers boss Jon Whitney that he was not part of his plans ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

And after weighing up his options, the centre-back is now determined to help Harriers achieve their goal of reaching the Football League.

“There was a bit of interest from clubs in League One and League Two,” O’Connor said.

“But I didn’t feel any were the right fit.

“I think at the stage I’m at in my career it’s really important to have a challenge. You don’t want to just be going through the motions.

“The challenge here is really exciting. So I had a choice to make.

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“I could have turned it down because of my ego or I could embrace and really get involved in helping Kiddy get to the Football League.”

O’Connor admits he’s been hugely impressed with the set-up at Aggborough since joining.

“It’s a really, really well run club,” he added.

“It’s professional. If I’m honest, it’s surprised me just how professional it is.

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“It reminds me a little bit of when I first joined Doncaster. And a little bit of when I first joined Walsall.

“There is a clear plan. A structure is in place. They were both good moves for me.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at both clubs, I class them both as two really enjoyable times of my career. Hopefully I can have the same thing at Kiddy and play a big role in us getting back into the league.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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