STAGS SIGN LUKE O`NEILL
O'Neill makes Field Mill move
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 30 Jun 2011
We are pleased to announce the signing of defender Luke O'Neill on a one year contract.
The 19-year-old right-back, who was released by Leicester City only five weeks ago, made 21 appearances on loan at Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Kettering last season. He made his debut for the Foxes' first team shortly after his 17th birthday.
O'Neill, who has represented England at under 17 level told mansfieldtown.net this afternoon: "I was impressed with the stadium, the manager and the set up [at Field Mill] and those are the main reasons why I have signed.
"My aims are to play as many first team games as possible and to gain promotion," he added.
O'Neill will link up with the rest of the squad tomorrow for the first day of pre-season training
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Sven was reluctant to let new Stags signing leave Foxes, says Cox
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 01, 2011
SVEN-Goran Eriksson was at pains to release Mansfield Town's new signing Luke O'Neill from Leicester City, Stags boss Paul Cox revealed today.
The 19-year-old former England U17 international has dropped down three levels to come to Field Mill on a one-year deal.
Former Notts County director of football Eriksson saw potential in the right-back but knew it was necessary to bring in more experienced names because of Leicester's desire to get back into the Premier League.
That has allowed Cox to pounce, and he remains convinced his latest capture will soon be back playing at a much higher level.
"Luke has come from a Championship club and everyone I have spoken to, as well as myself, believes he can get back there," said Cox.
"Speaking to the coaches at Leicester they said Sven was disappointed to have to let Luke go, but they are in a scenario where they are pushing to make things happen quickly.
"It is a case of him taking a step back to take a couple forward and people may well think he really shouldn't be playing at this level.
"There was interest from League Two clubs and at the lower end of League One as well, having been on loan at Tranmere and Kettering last season.
"But I think he wants to come somewhere where he can get a regular run of games and really establish himself.
"He is not the finished product yet, or he would be playing in the Championship already, but he has the ambition to match what we are trying to do.
"Luke can play on the right of midfield and I have seen him play left-back as well, so he gives us a wealth of options.
"I had a choice between him and a player who has played 250 League games but I think he is dynamic and will be an excellent acquisition for us."
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