Conor McCarthy signs for Barnsley on a three-year deal

There were other clubs interested in the Corkman including Championship side Rotterham and fellow League One side MK Dons but the defender opted for a move to Oakwell. 
Conor McCarthy signs for Barnsley on a three-year deal

St Mirren's Conor McCarthy

Conor McCarthy has joined Sky Bet League One side Barnsley on a three-year contract after his contract expired with St Mirren this summer. 

The Blarney native leaves the Scottish Premier Division club after two-and-a-half years.

McCarthy signed for St Mirren from Cork City in 2020 before going on to make 84 appearances for the club, scoring four goals during his time there.

McCarthy was linked with a move away last summer from St Mirren with Oxford United and Rotherham United keen on recruiting the centre-back. Although he made 22 league appearances last season, McCarthy’s game time was restricted due to an anterior tall-fibular ligament ankle injury he sustained in November. 

Conor McCarthy playing for Cork City 
Conor McCarthy playing for Cork City 

He found it difficult to get back into the starting 11 after his return from injury and his cause was not initially helped by the change of manager at the club after Waterford native Jim Goodwin was replaced by Stephen Robinson.

However, McCarthy was a regular in the starting line-up in the latter stages of the season and the club were disappointed to see the Corkman leave.

McCarthy moves to a team that will be looking to bounce straight back to the Championship after the Yorkshire club were relegated from English football’s second-tier last season.

There were other clubs interested in the Corkman including Championship side Rotterham and fellow League One side MK Dons but the defender opted for a move to Oakwell. 

Barnsley have been keen on recruiting McCarthy for a number of weeks and their interested never faded despite their recent change in manager with Michael Duff taking over the hot seat less than two weeks ago.

Promotion out of League One will be more difficult than ever with teams like Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Derby County all vying for promotion.

Bolton Wanderers are another team tipped to challenge near the top and McCarthy will come up against a familiar face in former Cork City teammates teammate Kieran Sadlier when the teams meet in October. 

Peter Connolly, chairmam with Conor McCarthy, St Mirren guest at the Cork schoolboy's awards for 2021/22 at The Address. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Peter Connolly, chairmam with Conor McCarthy, St Mirren guest at the Cork schoolboy's awards for 2021/22 at The Address. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

McCarthy will be looking to make his competitive debut in the clubs first league game of the season, when they make the long-trip to Home Park to face Plymouth Argyle on 30 July.

Speaking on the club’s website McCarthy said; “Now that it’s all signed, sealed and delivered, it’s a great feeling.

"You only have to take one look around at the stadium, the facilities that this club has, and I needed no second invitation to sign for a massive club like this.” 

Chief Executive Officer of Barnsley Football Club, Khaled El-Ahmad added: “We are happy to welcome Conor, who is a versatile defender with a strong character and leadership qualities to Oakwell as we add additional quality to our defensive unit."

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