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Rotherham United: Millers track striker Michael O’Connor after trial

Paul Warne
Paul Warne

Rotherham United are keeping tabs on young Irish striker Michael O’Connor despite deciding against signing him in the January transfer window.

The League of Ireland teenager joined the Millers for training last month and played in a private trial match watched by manager Paul Warne before returning to his side, Shamrock Rovers.

Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer

Rotherham, who signed centre-forwards Michael Smith and Caolan Lavery during the window, will monitor the 19-year-old’s progress and say the chances of a deal being struck aren’t dead.

“There was interest from us,” Warne confirmed. “He came and trained with us for a few days. He played in a behind-closed-doors game. I didn’t see enough of him in that to offer him a deal.”

O’Connor has played three games for Shamrock and has scored in every one of them.

“We tried to get him over again to play in our reserves but because of international football law we couldn’t,” Warne added. “Regrettably, I just hadn’t seen enough to offer him anything. We can revisit it.

“Shamrock’s season starts in a couple of weeks so we can keep an eye on him and see how he gets on. He’s quite a feisty little kid, so I liked him.”

The play-off-chasing Millers are looking to stretch their unbeaten League One run to 10 matches at home to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Latest signings Lavery and central midfielder Matt Palmer, will be in the squad and hoping to make their debuts, probably from the bench.

Warne let frontman Jonson Clarke-Harris and winger Alex Bray leave on loan on yesterday’s transfer deadline day.

The boss hopes former record signing Clarke-Harris can revive his career at League Two Coventry City, managed by ex-Millers chief Mark Robins, after three and a half frustrating years at AESSEAL New York Stadium

Caolan Lavery

Caolan Lavery

“His level of performance hasn’t been sufficient to keep him in the team,” Warne said. “I can’t speak for other managers before me. It just hasn’t worked out. Sometimes, it’s like that.

“In fairness to Jonno, he’s got all the tools. I wish him all the best at Coventry. Sometimes, you can be at a club for too long and it just hasn’t worked so maybe you need to move on. Players move all the time.

“He’s got attributes to score goals and to play on a regular basis. Hopefully he can do that for Robbo at Coventry.”

The Millers have no new injury concerns for the clash against in-form Wimbledon, who won 4-0 at top-six Bradford City last weekend, with long-term absentees Jame Proctor and Darren Potter the only players unavailable.

Jonson Clarke-Harris

Jonson Clarke-Harris

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