Cork City have announced that former defender Kevin O’Connor has returned to the club, on loan from Preston North End.
The full-back left Leeside in 2017 to sign for the Championship club, alongside Sean Maguire, but has endured a frustrating time at Deepdale.
O’Connor struggled to break into the first team and only made a handful of appearances during loan moves to Fleetwood Town and Crewe Alexandra.
The 23-year-old will be hoping that this latest loan move will help him rediscover the form that saw him help City to the Premier Division title in 2017.
O’Connor told CorkCityFC.ie that he was glad to be back on Leeside.
“Everybody knows how I feel about this club, so it is great to be back.
“I’ve been in training with the lads, so I am looking forward to getting my head down, working hard and going again.”
“There are still a good few of the lads here from when I was here before, and the new lads seems bang on. It seems like a really good bunch and hopefully things will go well on the pitch.
“I want to get games, that is my main target, but we want to be challenging up around the top of the table as well. I am just hoping to come back, work hard and play as many games as possible.”
The Ireland U21 international made his name as a full-back with City, but manager John Caulfield, who called the signing a “great coup”, believes he may be playing elsewhere this season.
“We all know he is a fantastic footballer,” Caulfield told the club website.
“We have been a bit short on numbers in the middle of the park since Jimmy (Keohane) has gone; people may not remember, but Kevin joined us as a midfielder and played there in the cup final in 2015, and we converted him into a left back.
We see him as a centre of the park player now; that is where he has been training and he has looked very sharp since he has come back in.
“It’s like he has never been away. He has trained very hard every day, he is a beautiful footballer and very good on the ball. He will be a huge addition to us and we are delighted to have him.
“He got a number of goals in his last spell with us; we all remember the winner against Hacken in the Europa League. He is a great guy to have around the place and will be a huge addition to our squad.”
Cork City announced that they hope to have O’Connor available for tomorrow’s President’s Cup clash with Dundalk, with international clearance pending.