BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FORMER Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell insists he was won over by the lofty ambitions of Lee Clark after swapping the Bhoys for Bury.
The 21-year-old has penned a three-year deal with the Shakers after departing the Hoops in search of first-team football.
O’Connell made seven appearances for Celtic last season, including a Champions League cameo in the 7-0 defeat against Barcelona, and garnered praise from boss Brendan Rodgers for some assured showings.
However, he slipped behind the likes of Jozo Simunovic, Erik Sviatchenko and Kolo Toure in the Parkhead pecking order and spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Walsall, where he impressed in his 17 outings.
Although the Bescot outfit were keen to make the move permanent, O’Connell was sold on Bury by former Kilmarnock gaffer Clark.
“When I spoke to the manager [Clark] and saw the squad he was building, it was impressive,” said O’Connell.
“He said to me he wants to have a right go at it promotion this year and I just wanted to be part of that.
“This is a great base to really kick-start my career now. The training ground is very impressive so we have not got any excuses.
“I enjoyed my time at Celtic but struggled to get regular playing time. Sometimes these things happen in football.”
And the Irishman insists he does not harbour any resentment after failing to make the grade north of the border.
O’Connell told the Bury Times: “I had a brilliant time up there and made some great friends and would not say a bad word about anybody. I wish them all the best.”