Anderson delighted with O'Grady capture
Ballinamallard United manager Whitey Anderson welcomes new signing Conor O'Grady to the club after the former Sligo Rovers captain completed his move to the Ferney Park oufit.<<
Ballinamallard United manager Whitey Anderson has hailed the capture of the experienced Conor O'Grady.
O'Grady has previously captained Sligo Rovers to the FAI Cup and League of Ireland Cup double in 2010 while he has also had spells with Derry City, Cork City and most recently Finn Harps.
Anderson feels that O'Grady will add much needed experience to his squad and the aim now is to get him up to match fitness with the 32 year old having just returned from ankle operation.
"I'm delighted to have secured the signing of Conor. His record speaks volumes and he will add much needed experience to the team both on and off the pitch," said Whitey.
"He has only returned to playing after 10 months out due to an ankle operation but he has already shown glimpses of what he can bring to the team. It's really a case of getting him up to match speed now and he is working hard both at training and on his own. I believe his experience will help a lot of the younger players and will provide a sense of leadership for which he is renowned."
O'Grady represented the Republic of Ireland at under age levels and has experience of playing in the Europa League and the Inter-Toto Cup.
His signature follows those of former Dungannon Swifts keeper Alvin Rouse, former Institute and Dergview striker Ryan Campbell and young central defender Ciaran Harper at Ferney Park over the summer.
O'Grady began his career with his native Sligo Rovers and won the League of Ireland Cup as an 18 year old at a time when he was also a member of the Republic Of Ireland squad which won bronze at the U18 European Championships.
He signed for Cork City in 2001 and later moved to Derry City before returning to Sligo Rovers in 2005 where he helped them win promotion from the League of Ireland First Division to the Premiership.
In 2010 Rovers won the club's first silverware since the League Cup-winning side that the young O'Grady was a part of in 1998. Although he missed the League Cup Final itself when Rovers beat Monaghan United, two months later O'Grady led Rovers out in the FAI Cup Final at the new Aviva Stadium in front of 36,000 supporters.
After a penalty shoot-out victory against favourites Shamrock Rovers O'Grady lifted the FAI Cup for only the third time in the club's history.
O'Grady joined Finn Harps for the 2011 season but injury restricted the number of games he played for the Donegal side. With the influx of his former Sligo Rovers clubmates like Jason McCartney and Danny Keohane to Ferney Park last season and Ballinamallard's promotion to the IFA Premiership for the forthcoming season, O'Grady has grasped the opportunity to play in the top flight on the northern side of the border.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 26 Jul 12