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Kevin O Connor
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D.O.B. :24/02/1982
Kevin O Connor (born 24 February 1982) is an Irish professional footballer who is currently captain of League One side Brentford. A one club man, he is currently Brentfords longest serving player, having signed his first professional contract in 1999. He is a utility player (having played every position bar goalkeeper) and a free kick and penalty specialist. As of May 2013, O Connors 486 appearances put him fourth in the Bees all-time appearance list. O Connor represented Republic of Ireland U21 at international level.


Career
1999–2001: Early years

Born in Blackburn, Lancashire to Irish parents, O Connor joined Division Two side Brentford as a schoolboy in 1995. He began his career as a striker and after a run of 23 goals in 30 games for the reserves, he signed his first professional contract in 1999. Awarded the number 30 shirt, O Connor received his maiden call into to the first team squad for a league match against Cardiff City on 12 February 2000. He was an unused substitute for the 1-1 draw. O Connor made his Brentford debut in a 3–2 Football League Trophy semi-final defeat at Exeter City on 15 February 2000, replacing Ívar Ingimarsson after 85 minutes. He was awarded his first start and in a goalless Division Two draw with Wycombe Wanderers on 19 February 2000. O Connor made seven appearances during the 1999/00 season. Now wearing the number 20 shirt, a succession of injuries meant that O Connor had to wait until December 2000 for his first appearance of the 2000/01 season,starting in a 2–2 league draw with Wigan Athletic, before being substituted for Mark Williams on 62 minutes. O Connors appearance against Wigan was the first of a run in the side and he scored the first senior goal of his career in a 2–1 league win over Bristol City on 20 February 2001. He made 12 appearances during the 2000/01 season and scored one goal. He found himself utilised in "the hole" by outgoing manager Ray Lewington.
2001–2004: Breakthrough

O Connor became a regular in the first team under new manager Steve Coppell during the 2001/02 season. He scored his second career goal in a 1–0 League Cup first round victory over Norwich City on 21 August 2001. O Connor appeared in two of Brentfords three playoff games and endured heartbreak in the 2002 Division Two playoff final as the Bees were denied a place in Division One by 2–0 winners Stoke City in his first appearance at the Millennium Stadium, having missed the 2001 Football League Trophy final. O Connor made 32 appearances during the 2001/02 season, scoring one goal. O Connor was an ever-present as a winger under new manager Wally Downes during the 2002/03 season and was awarded the number 9 shirt. O Connor scored his first ever brace in a 3–3 League Cup second round draw with Bournemouth on 10 September 2002. He scored again in the following game against Tranmere Rovers, to take his tally to three goals in two games. Through November 2002 to January 2003, O Connor went on a run of scoring five goals in 11 games. He finished the 2002/03 season having scored 9 goals in 53 appearances. O Connor signed a new three-year contract in June 2003. O Connor made consistent appearances during the 2003/04 season and kept his place in the team following the departure of Downes and the appointment of Martin Allen as manager. He scored the equaliser in a 1–1 draw with bitter rivals Queens Park Rangers in the West London Derby on 14 February 2004.
2004–2007: Conversion to right back

Now donning the number 16 shirt, O Connor began the 2004/05 season as a substitute and scored the only goal of the game versus Wrexham on 14 August 2004 with a memorable 20-yard volley. An injury to Michael Dobson in a 4–1 defeat to Bristol City (a game in which O Connor scored) saw Martin Allen press O Connor into service as a right back for much of the season. He made 44 appearances during the 2004/05 season, scoring two goals as Brentford failed to progress past Sheffield Wednesday in the 2005 playoff semi-finals. O Connors performances earned him the "Most Improved Player Of The Year" award. After the season, he was rewarded with a new two-year contract extension. O Connor was awarded the number 2 shirt and was Martin Allens first-choice right back for the 2005/06 season. He became the clubs regular penalty taker, netting from the spot against Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers and Walsall. O Connor was nominated for the "Most Improved Player Of The Year" award towards the end of the season. He finished the 2005/06 season having scored eight goals in 38 appearances, but once again he suffered playoff heartbreak as Brentford failed over overcome Swansea City in the 2006 playoff semi-finals. O Connor was once again the first-choice right back under new manager Leroy Rosenior during the 2006/07 season and kept his place after Rosenior was sacked and former-teammate Scott Fitzgerald was appointed manager in December 2006. He signed a new contract in September 2006, running until June 2009. O Connor made 43 appearances and scored seven goals, but his efforts to prevent Brentford suffering relegation with a bottom-place finish in League One were in vain.
2007–2009: Central midfield

Following the signings of right backs Ben Starosta and Craig Pead by new manager Terry Butcher prior to the 2007/08 season, O Connor played predominantly in central midfield for his first season in the basement. He had a good start to the season, scoring in consecutive games against Notts County and Barnet in August 2007. O Connor made 41 appearances and scored three goals as Brentford finished in mid-table. Under new manager Andy Scott, O Connor began the 2008/09 season as a substitute. O Connor was sent off for the first time in his career, just 14 minutes after coming on for Craig Pead in a 2–1 league win over Dagenham & Redbridge. An injury to captain Adam Newton towards the end of 2008 saw O Connor take over the armband. O Connor made his 300th start for Brentford on 7 February 2009 against Chester City at Griffin Park. Despite missing the last nine games of the 2008/09 season, O Connor made 33 appearances and scored one goal as Brentford were promoted as League Two champions.
2009–2011: Captain

O Connor signed a new two-year contract in June 2009. Back in League One for the 2009/10 season, O Connor appeared in all but three of Brentfords matches, making 49 appearances and scoring five goals.He scored a brace of penalties in a 2–1 league victory over Tranmere Rovers on 29 September 2009. After completing ten years of continuous service as a Brentford player, O Connor was rewarded with a testimonial on 14 July 2010 against local rivals Fulham. O Connor began the 2010/11 season as an ever-present in central midfield and scored his only two goals of the season in a 3–0 away league victory over Tranmere Rovers on 16 October 2010. In January 2011, he signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract.After the appointment of striker Nicky Forster as interim manager (replacing the sacked Andy Scott) in February 2011, O Connor found himself in and out of the side and he was "extremely disappointed" that he was denied the chance to lead the team out as captain at Wembley Stadium in the 2011 Football League Trophy final, despite having started in every game on the way to the final. O Connor appeared as an 89th minute substitute appearance in the game, which Brentford lost 1–0 to Carlisle United. O Connor made 53 appearances during the 2010/11 season.
2011–present: Injury hell

Under new manager Uwe Rösler, O Connor began the 2011/12 season mostly as a substitute and scored his first goal of the campaign with a winning penalty in a 1–0 league victory over Wycombe Wanderers on 10 September 2011. He scored another penalty four games later in a 3–0 Football League Trophy second round win away at Charlton Athletic. O Connor suffered a serious injury in a 1–0 FA Cup first round win over Basingstoke Town on 12 November, collapsing in agony after catching his foot in the turf. He had made 18 appearances and scored two goals until ankle injury ended his season. Following a successful recovery, O Connor returned to the team in time for the start of the 2012/13 season and featured regularly as a substitute. After making 11 appearances, he suffered a serious leg and ankle injury while falling in a tackle in a 1–0 victory over Portsmouth on 6 November 2012 and it was determined that he would be out for six months.O Connor signed a new contract in March 2013, running until June 2014.O Connor returned to the first team on 10 April 2013, when he was an unused substitute in a 2–0 victory over Crewe Alexandra. He was pressed into service in the next game, replacing Lee Hodson after 66 minutes of a pulsating 2–2 draw with Sheffield United, a game which saw Tony Craig and Clayton Donaldson sent off for Brentford.Craigs three match suspension began on Brentfords penultimate game of the season against Hartlepool United. Still not fully fit, O Connor filled in at centre back alongside Harlee Dean in the 1–1 draw, having never played the position before.
Doncaster Rovers penalty incident

Brentfords final game of the 2012/13 season was against Doncaster Rovers at Griffin Park, with the Bees needing to win to secure automatic promotion to the Championship. With the score at 0–0, Brentford were awarded a penalty in the fourth of five minutes injury time.Before the game, the team was made aware that O Connor was Uwe Röslers designated penalty taker, but substitute striker Marcello Trotta grabbed the ball from O Connor, with the intent to take the penalty. Trotta crashed the spot kick against the bar and Doncaster scored a breakaway goal through James Coppinger to win 1–0 and consign Brentford to the playoffs. O Connor admitted after the game that he "tried to follow orders but Trotts has gone into the zone, got the ball and he was extremely confident. What can you say? If he scores it, it is perfect but unf...[Read more]




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Kevin O Connor's playing record
Season Openin. Subst. Goals Yellows Reds
2003 4 2 0 0 0
Total 4 2 0 0 0
By season | In opening squad | Substituted in | Goals | Yellow cards | Red cards



Kevin O Connor's full debut
01.04.2003 at 15:00 European Qualifier / c A Albania 0 - 1


Last 10 games where Kevin O Connor started | Show All
10.10.2003 at 19:00 European Qualifier / c A Switzerland 2 - 0
05.09.2003 at 19:00 European Qualifier / c H Russia 2 - 0
19.08.2003 at 15:00 Friendly / c A Poland 1 - 5
01.04.2003 at 15:00 European Qualifier / c A Albania 0 - 1


Games in which Kevin O Connor was a Substitute.
10.06.2003 European Qualifier / c H Georgia 1 - 1
28.03.2003 European Qualifier / c A Georgia 1 - 1
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