Michael O'Connor says being part of Coleraine journey was was an 'easy decision' to make

A picture of Coleraine head coach Dean Shiels with his new assistant Michael O'Connor
-Credit: (Image: Coleraine FC)


Michael O'Connor says joining Coleraine is "one of the easiest decisions" he has made in football. The former Northern Ireland midfielder joins the backroom team of fellow ex-international Dean Shiels at the Bannsiders.

O'Connor had a lengthy spell playing in England before returning to the Irish League with Glenavon and then moving into coaching with Newry City last season. The 36-year-old believes the experience of having worked in a full-time environment will benefit Coleraine as they move into this new era.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Dean, I know him well from playing alongside him," said O'Connor. "I also played against Dungannon when he was in charge and really liked how they played football.”

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“When the call came in from Dean, it took me about 10 seconds to say yes. It was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made in football. Dean and I have played full-time football for most of our careers, so hopefully, our experience in that environment will make the transition from part-time to full-time easier for the players and the club.

"It’s a big club with a great history, and with the new full-time model, hopefully, we can bring more silverware and start challenging the likes of Larne and Linfield at the top of the table. It’s an exciting, exciting time to be part of a great football club.”

Shiels, who took over as head coach last month, is delighted to bring in his former Northern Ireland roommate. Shiels believes O'Connor's high standards will help drive Coleraine forward.

“Michael is someone I’ve known for a long time, back to when we were roommates with the NI squads," he said. "He will be a great addition to the staff, and importantly, his thoughts on the game are aligned with mine.

"He has a strong belief in setting high standards in all areas of the club. I’m delighted Michael has accepted this role and is another superb addition to the management team.”

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