LEE O’CONNOR has grabbed the headlines this international break by becoming the first Celtic player in five years to be capped for the Republic of Ireland. The last man to do that was Anthony Stokes.

Lee’s first cap for his country is even more impressive when you take into account he’s yet to make a senior debut at club level. The Irish setup holds the player in high regard, and have known of Lee’s talent for a number of years while playing for Manchester Utd’s developmental sides.

Suspended from under 21 duty, O’Connor got his big break against New Zealand and took it with both hands. The defender put in a top performance and even made an outstanding assist on the night.

With Lee pushing for a place in the first team Celtic squad, he was delighted with his Ireland debut and states his goal at Celtic. Being able to play centre-back and right-back could work in his favour at some point in the season.

“It was a great moment for me and for them. It’s something you work for your whole life. To get it at 19 years of age is a dream come true… it doesn’t get much better.” O’Connor told RecordSport.

“I felt fine. At the start you have a couple of butterflies but once the whistle blows you just have to get on with it.”

“Everyone was very welcoming. They just said, ‘do what got you here’, that I’m here for a reason, to play my normal game… to just play football.

“Of course there’s a big step-up, but I think I done well. I’m happy with my performance. Hopefully it’s the first of many.

“The assist was a great moment for me. Robbie’s left footed. It kind of played into my hands, I could go around the outside. I thought we worked well together.

“That’s what I want to do now, push for the first team at Celtic. Hopefully I can.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.