It’s less than two weeks before Kevin O’Connor and Sean Maguire swap Turner’s Cross for Deepdale, but they still have a big job to do before they head for England.
A final league game for Cork City and a Europa League double header mean there are three big matches before they can pull on the lilywhite in anger for the first time.
But the two joined their team-mates to be at PNE’s Fota Island training base just outside Cork on Monday to ‘meet and greet’ ahead of their permanent arrival with Alex Neil’s squad.
Speaking to iFollow after the light session, O’Connor was pleased for the chance to say ‘hello’ in advance of his transfer: “We have known for a while we were going to come down and meet the lads and it is a great opportunity to meet the manager and get to know the boys.
“They have all been really welcoming to me and Seani [Maguire]. Everyone has come and introduced themselves and we are delighted to come down and spend some time with them.”
Cork City have had a tremendous year so far and the left back is keen to make sure that he leaves on a positive note: “We’re having a great season, but it is just half way through with a lot of games still left to play,” he continued. “Me and Seani have just got the one league game and two Europa League games left, but the rest of the squad will be looking to kick-on. There is a great squad there and I just hope they keep it going.
“The lads have said they are going to come and watch the game on Thursday after training and it is a huge game for the club and ourselves. The new manager will be there to watch us and we just have to play our normal game and hopefully we can impress.
“Turner’s Cross has always been a place where teams find it hard to go and get a result and we feed off the crowd. It is a sell out again on Thursday and hopefully we can still be within a chance going into the second leg.”
The trailblazing started by Alan Browne, with the likes of Doyle, Cunningham and then Boyle and Horgan following last season has made Deepdale a home away from home for the Irish contingent, something that is not lost on the new No.25.
“There are a lot of Irish lads here already and they have tried to welcome us in, as has everyone else.
“Myself and Seani are only 22 and 23, but the lads have made it easy for us and we are looking forward to getting over and getting settled,” he added.
For the full interview with Kevin O’Connor click on the video on the top of the page, so see the latest free content from iFollow.