BURTON Albion have signed goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
The 23-year-old has been at Old Trafford since he was eight years old and has made his way through the United Academy ranks, earning Republic of Ireland Under 21 caps in the process.
He got his first taste of League Two football on-loan at Morecambe before spending last season at Macclesfield.
He enjoyed a memorable season with the Silkmen, helping them defy the odds and avoid relegation on the last day. His performances helped him sweep the board at the end of season awards – earning four accolades including the Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.
Last season, Brad Collins, on loan from Chelsea, joined the goalkeeping department at the Pirelli Stadium and made a big impact and Nigel Clough believes O’Hara can do the same.
He said: “He is very similar to Brad. He had a very good year last season in League Two and he’s ready to make the step up to League One.
“You look at the scale of Macclesfield’s achievement last year and clearly there must have been some people doing extremely well for them and he was certainly one of them. For them to stay up was incredible and he played a major role in that.
“He will come in feeling confident and with the pedigree of being at Manchester United for a number of years and he fits the bill.
“This is the next stage for him, and we want to help him get into the full Republic of Ireland squad as well.
“How well Brad did here last year has helped us (to secure the deal), the young team we have here, the way we played the second half of last season – all those factors come into play.
“He was our first choice all along and I’m delighted we have got the deal done.
“The balance was right in the goalkeeping department last season and we have that again now.”
O’Hara said: “I’m ready to step up to that next level and show that I’m more than capable of climbing the leagues and reaching, hopefully one day, the Premier League.
“I hope I can play regularly and put in top performances for Burton. If that’s recognised, hopefully that will help me make the next step of becoming a full senior international.”
KIERAN O'HARA IS READY FOR PRE-SEASON - ARE YOU?
Buy your tickets for our pre-season friendlies at home to Sheffield United on Tuesday, July 16 and Derby County on Saturday, July 20!