NEW GULL PROFILE – KEELAN O’CONNELL by Danny Burnell

NEW GULL PROFILE

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Danny Burnell – @TQOner

Danny looks at new attacking signing Keelan O’Connell 

Career So Far 

Having been born in Portsmouth, O’Connell joined neighbouring AFC Bournemouth as a youngster in 2009, before signing his first professional contact during the 2015-16 season at the age of 16. A prominent figure in the AFC Bournemouth U23 side, alongside the likes of Sherring & Vincent, O’Connell didn’t manage a start for the first team. His only minutes to date in professional football was a loan stint with Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton in the 2018/19. He made his debut coming on as a sub in a 0-0 draw with Ayr United. He eventually made 5 more appearances in Scotland before returning to his parent club.

The Stats

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Position: Winger (Left or Right)

DOB: 30 November 1999 – 21 years-old

Height: 1.72m

Place of Birth: Portsmouth

Previous Clubs: AFC Bournemouth, Greenock Morton

League Stats 20-21: N/A

The Player

A pacey player who can operate from either wing is a great trait to have. Taking on his man on the outside, or cutting inside, Keelan’s versatility will be of great use to GJ and Downsey. It’s hard to judge a player who is coming from U23’s football, but you must have something about you if you are kept on at a club of Bournemouth’s pedigree for so many years. At 21, O’Connell probably feels he needs to be playing regularly at a decent standard in order to progress his career. We’ve had it before with players who drop down to the NL, and bounce back up with great promise, ala Gus MacDonald.

Views from previous club

‘Didn’t get to see him much as you said but what I’ve seen I’m surprised he wasn’t involved at all with Bournemouth. Really quick and agile, loves to take a player on and he can actually get past them. Very unselfish. Could make it in the game given a chance. – Greenock Morton Twitter Fans Page

Most/Least Likely 

Most Likely to:

  • Be compared to Ben Whitfield from the very first game.

  • Nip the ball past the full back and run.

  • Be subbed after 70 minutes as TUFC look to hold onto a lead.

  • Form a new TUFC bromance with old team mate Sam Sherring (if SS returns to Plainmoor).

Least Likely to 

  • Play upfront on his own.

  • Take a shot from a ridiculous angle rather than cross for Danny Wright.

Miscellaneous

  • Judging by the Morton fans comments, expect unselfishness, expect him to assist rather than score a bucket load.

  • Don’t be fooled by his Irish sounding name, he is Portsmouth born.

  • Came through the youth ranks at Bournemouth with Sherring an Frank Vincent.

Conclusion 

Given his youth pedigree and comments from the Morton fans, Keelan has the potential to be an exciting prospect. The Nemane & Whitfield wing size holes are big ones (metaphorically, not literally), and O’Connell could just be the player we are looking for. Encouragingly he likes to take players on and is unselfish. An assist king could be pivotal this season. Some decent deliveries for Wright and/or Lolos throughout the course of the season could be the difference between 3 points or none. We have to accept there will be some inconsistencies with his performances, wingers generally do. See Kalala, Nemane, but if his attitude is correct, and the work ethic is there, it wont take long for the Yellow Army to warm to him.

COYY – Danny

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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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