U23S | Defender Harris O'Connor signs to bolster academy ranks

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Charlton’s U23s have bolstered their defensive ranks with the signing of Harris O’Connor following a successful trial. 

The 19-year-old, who was previously on the books at Kilmarnock before spending three years with Scottish Premiership champions Rangers, had formerly represented the Addicks between the ages of seven and 12 and has expressed how delighted he is to back. 

“It feels brilliant, it feels like I’m back home. Seeing some familiar faces and getting offered the contract was a great feeling,” said the defender, who predominantly operates as a centre-back but can play as a full-back. 

When asked about what he believes he can bring to the team, he explained “I’m able to play anywhere across the back four and I’d say I’m composed on the ball, good passer and good in the air as well for not such a tall player but I can compete well.” 

Having been at the club before, O’Connor said he is well aware of the pathway into the first team and the high-profile players who have come through the Academy in his position, most notably Joe Gomez. 

“There’s been so many players come from Charlton who’ve had great careers and I can only hope to emulate the same things.”  

Academy Manager Steve Avory was more than pleased to welcome Harris back to the club. 

“I’ve been watching his career closely, initially with Kilmarnock and then with Rangers, he played at international youth level, so we knew a bit about him and kept tabs on him and I was surprised quite honestly that he was released by Glasgow Rangers.”

“He’s only 19 years of age so there’s still some development for sure and I know he thinks that this environment is as it was when he left, you know it’s a good development environment he’ll see a clear pathway I’m sure as well and he’s coming into a strong U23 development group but he’s aware of that and I think he can thrive in this environment and that group.”

“He was always comfortable on the ball so when you’re working on our philosophy and our way of building from the back, it’s a good starting point when you’ve got a defender who’s as composed as he is on the ball with his passing ability, with his ability to play under pressure and be composed to get the team playing”

Article by Gregg Baxter

Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the clubs academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member.

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