The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Nick Lough

STEVE­NAGE striker Aaron O’Con­nor ad­mits he was shocked to dis­cover man­ager Teddy Sher­ing­ham had been sacked as man­ager – less than two hours af­ter sign­ing the For­est Green for­ward af­ter a suc­cess­ful loan spell.

At around 3.30pm on trans­fer dead­line day, striker O’Con­nor com­pleted his move to mark a per­ma­nent re­turn to the Foot­ball League.

How­ever, at 5pm, the former Manch­ester United and Tot­ten­ham front­man Sher­ing­ham was re­lieved of his du­ties as Boro boss.

With Sher­ing­ham’s pedi­gree a sound rea­son for any striker to want to play un­der the 49year-old ex-Eng­land man, O’Con­nor in­sisted he is still happy with the choice he made to sign at the Lamex Sta­dium.

“When I signed, as far as I knew Sher­ing­ham was go­ing be here as he was the one who wanted me here,” O’Con­nor told The FLP. “I found out he was gone later than most.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing as he was the one who brought me in.

“Play­ing un­der a man­ager who has al­ready seen me and signed me per­ma­nently gives you that lit­tle bit of con­fi­dence.

“But I don’t think any player is go­ing to sign for a team for the sake of one per­son.

“You still have your liveli­hood to think about and your fam­ily to look af­ter.

“I gen­uinely thought he was good enough to get things right and it’s not been easy for him with all the bad luck and in­juries.”

De­spite notch­ing ten goals in 39 League Two games last sea­son with New­port County, O’Con­nor was al­lowed to move on from Rodney Pa­rade and look for pas­tures new.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing to leave New­port in the first place,” he said. “But once I knew that was go­ing to be the case I weighed up all the op­tions, like where I


was go­ing to move to and salary wise, to sup­port my fam­ily.

“At the time, stay­ing in my house in Cardiff was im­por­tant and I could drive to For­est Green ev­ery day with peo­ple like David Pipe and Dar­ren Jones.

“I knew the club’s am­bi­tion and I was sur­rounded by qual­ity play­ers, so I thought at the time it was the best de­ci­sion for me.”

With nine goals in 16 matches, the 32-year-old had hit the ground run­ning in the Na­tional League as he spear­headed For­est Green’s at­tack.

How­ever, af­ter strug­gling to hold down a place in the start­ing XI to­wards the back end of 2015, O’Con­nor was look­ing to move away from the The New Lawn – but found many of his av­enues blocked off.

“At the start of the sea­son, I was in the For­est Green team, play­ing and scor­ing,” he said.“I had been top scorer for them for most of the sea­son.

“As far as I be­lieve, I did the job they brought me in for and the only rea­son I left was be­cause I wasn’t play­ing.


“There were of­fers for me to join other clubs near the top of the Con­fer­ence, but For­est Green didn’t want me to move to a pro­mo­tion ri­val, which I un­der­stand to a cer­tain ex­tent.

“Then there were a few teams to­wards the bot­tom of the league that showed in­ter­est, too, but when the op­por­tu­nity came from Teddy Sher­ing­ham to play at Steve­nage it made sense for ev­ery­one for me to go there.”

Now signed on a per­ma­nent con­tract, which runs un­til the end of the 2015-16 cam­paign, O’Con­nor is pleased to fi­nally be set­tled at his new club.

“I’m de­lighted to be back in the Foot­ball League,” he said.

“Now I know there’s no more con­fu­sion and no more back and forth be­tween clubs. I can be set­tled and get my head down and fo­cused.”

PIC­TURE: Tony Car­ney & Ac­tion Im­ages

SET­TLED: Steve­nage’s Aaron O’Con­nor, seen here against Ply­mouth INSET: Teddy Sher­ing­ham with chair­man Phil Wallace

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