IN SEAMUS Conneely, Sheffield United have signed one of the best prospects in Ireland, according to his former manager Sean Connor.
The versatile youngster, 22 who can play at right-back, centre-back or in a defensive midfield role has joined the Blades on an 18 month deal from Galway United.
Recent years have seen an influx of League or Ireland players into England, with the likes of Kevin Doyle (Reading and Wolves) going on to make an impression in the Premier League and at international level. In a double Irish swoop, the Blades have also signed David McAllister from St. Patrick's Athletic and Connor believes that Micky Adams has inherited two very good prospects.
He told The Star: "What you get in Seamus is a 100% attitude and real qualities. He's a very composed player and ambitious. He's good on the ball, he's a good one on one defender and he works very hard. He's also a really good professional and professionals stand out in this league and that's what earned him the move. McAllister's a very strong player and good runner, I expect him to do well too."
Another player who has successfully made the step-up from the Irish league is Everton's full-back Seamus Coleman, a player Connor knows all about from his time managing Sligo Rovers. Although Conneely is different to Coleman as a player, he believes that their potential is roughly the same.
"Coleman is a hard runner whilst Conneely is more technical and he's got a good range of passing.
"Both of them wanted to work hard and that's paid off for them. It will be difficult for Seamus to get a first team place at United and maybe he'll need a wee bit of luck along the way.
Connor admitted he was sad to see the youngster depart but is hopeful that an agreement with United could be agreed that sees young Blades play for Galway on a short term basis.
"It's always a disappointment to lose your best players. But I'd like to manage in England one day and I can put on my CV that I've helped Seamus develop into a player who can play in England.
"We're in talks with Stoke about loaning young players from them and maybe I can have a word with Micky Adams too. The Irish league is very competitive and it would be a good for all parties."
Conneely is excited about his move to the Blades but knows he'll have to work hard to get a place in the side. He told the Galway Advertiser: "This is a great opportunity for me now though to prove that I can make at as a professional footballer and I just have to keep working hard really. "I haven't spoken with Micky Adams at length, but he spoke about bringing Port Vale to Galway last year to me when they played a friendly against Mervue United and he said that he knew about the area.
"He has been friendly to me and I just have to make sure that I am noticed by doing the right things in training and in the games when I am given a chance."
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