Limerick's Paudie O'Connor has signed for English League Two side Bradford City
LIMERICK defender Paudie O'Connor is set to lock horns with Champions League winners Liverpool in an early appearance for new club Bradford City.
Bradford completed the permanent signing of Ballybrown defender Paudie O’Connor this Tuesday.
The centre-back joins the English League Two side from Leeds United on a three-year contract - after turning down offers from League One - to bolster City’s new-look backline.
This comes after a deal was struck between the two clubs, enabling O'Connor to return to the Northern Commercials Stadium as part of a long-term agreement.
One of O'Connor's earliest appearances for Bradford is set to be against Jurgen Klopp's UEFA Championship League winning Liverpool side. Bradford City will host the Reds in a history-making pre-season friendly on Sunday July 14, designed to raise funds for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
Having enjoyed an impressive run in the team towards the end of last season, 21-year-old Limerickman O'Connor is determined to pick up from where he left off.
O’Connor said: “This is the best possible move for me.
“Gary (Bowyer) and I have a great relationship. We compliment each other well and I understand his demands. He plays football the right way so it suits me down to the ground, signing for City.
“Being a leader comes with the way I play. I am always on the front foot. Over the coming three years I am desperate to be associated with success.
“Playing here at Valley Parade in front of the crowd is a great feeling. It played a big part in my decision to sign a long-term deal here.
“I will do all I can to help us get promoted. I have committed myself to the club and want to concentrate on my football.”
The Irishman is a player Bowyer knows very well, having been signed by the City boss at Blackpool.
He added: “We are delighted to have secured Paudie on a permanent deal and look forward to seeing him develop even further.
“I signed him last year, at Blackpool, and everyone knows what I think of him as a player and a character. In my opinion, he has the desire and ability to play at a higher level.
“He displayed great leadership skills when we gave him the captain’s armband at the end of last season. We will need those qualities again in this difficult division.”
O’Connor made his first-team debut for Leeds against Sunderland in April 2018 and penned a new contract at Elland Road prior to linking up with Blackpool.
Further Championship appearances for the Limerickman came against Preston North End, Aston Villa and Barnsley towards the end of last season.
In January O’Connor moved to Sky Bet English League One side Bradford initially on loan until the end of last season.
O’Connor featured 39 times for Limerick FC in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and First Divisions prior to his switch to Leeds.
Starting out for local side Kilcornan, O’Connor also appeared for Breska Rovers and Regional United before being picked up for Limerick’s U19s and moving on to the club’s senior side.