Callaghan backing O’Brien for multiple Carrick boost

Declan O'Brien. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Declan O'Brien. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Carrick Rangers manager Aaron Callaghan considers the capture of Declan O’Brien a boost on and off the pitch.

O’Brien was released from Glenavon this week and the striker, after interest from a number of clubs, opted to sign with Carrick

Callaghan is familiar with the forward from his time in the League of Ireland and considers the 37-year-old a true asset to the club’s relegation fight on a number of fronts.

“I have coached and managed teams across the border up against Declan and know how much of a threat he can be in front of goal,” said Callaghan. “He has a superb track record and brings real passion to how he goes about everything.

“We have already seen that this week in training and Declan is also going to bring a lot to the squad in terms of his experience.

“A striker with his history can only help bring along the other forwards at Carrick Rangers, especially the younger players.

“He is cup-tied for the League Cup final but will certainly hope to hit the ground running in the league.”

Carrick will face Ballymena United on February 18 in the League Cup final but take to the road this weekend to meet the same side with Danske Bank Premiership points at stake.

Carrick hold a nine-point lead over basement side Portadown.

“We hope to wrap up some more business before the close of the January transfer window,” said Callaghan. “We are delighted to get Declan on board as obviously having that extra goal threat could provide a major lift.

“But there are other areas we want to improve on if possible.

“Any successful sides I have previously been involved in have always had a strong defence and we want to tighten up at the back.

“We have made three or four signings and are still trying to secure a few other deals.”

O’Brien expressed his desire for added playing time as key to the Carrick switch.

“I’m glad to get it done,” said O’Brien in an interview with the Carrick Rangers website. “Myself and the chairman had a good chat last year and it was nearly done then, so I’m glad to get it over the line this time round.

“The aim is obviously to help the club stay in the division, consolidate and build on the exciting new project that Aaron has started here. .

“I was limited at Glenavon minutes-wise and my record usually speaks for itself when I get enough game time, the goals usually come along with that, I need to get myself playing and enjoying my football again.”