WORCESTER City manager Carl Heeley has said patience was the key in capturing former Republic of Ireland Under 21 international Kevin O’Connor.

The 24-year-old agreed to make the switch to St George’s Lane from Blue Square Bet North rivals AFC Telford United.

The midfielder was one of Heeley’s top targets for the new campaign and the City chief admitted he had to take a step back in his pursuit of the former Wolverhampton Wanderers player.

O’Connor, who retired from the professional game due to a persistent hamstring problem, is one of three signings the Lane boss has made this week on season-long deals.

He is joined at the club by former City hero Mark Danks and ex-Stoke midfielder Tom Thorley.

“We have had to be patient to get both Kevin and Mark,” Heeley said.

“Kevin was one of the first players we spoke to about coming here.

“But, at that time, Telford were looking for a new manager and he wanted to see what was happening there.

“He asked us to be patient and we put no pressure on him whatsoever so I’m really pleased that it has all paid off.

“Kevin is a quality player and he knows both Mark Clyde and Graham Ward.”

Heeley was equally delighted at securing the return of striker Danks and believes he can forge a formidable partnership with Marc McGregor, who will return to the club for pre-season training.

The 26-year-old spent last season at Blue Square North outfit Northwich Victoria with ex-City manager Andy Preece.

A proven goal-scorer at this level, Heeley hopes Danks provides the goals that have been sorely missing over the past couple of seasons.

“Mark has a great affinity with the club and it is great that he has decided to come back,” Heeley said.

“He is a proven goal-scorer — he usually gets 20 to 25 goals a season. We have been missing that.

“We create lots of chances and hopefully Mark is the man to put them away.

“I think he will form a very good partnership with Marc.”

McGregor is still to sign for City next season as he is keen to prove his fitness for the new campaign.

But Heeley feels the former Forest Green Rovers striker will remain at the Lane.

“Marc had a few niggles last season and struggled to keep his fitness,” Heeley added.

“He is determined to prove that to us this summer.

“I’ve had a few chats with Marc since the end of the season and I’m confident that he will remain a Worcester City player.”

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