Right move for Conor McCarthy to join Barnsley FC

Right move for Conor McCarthy to join Barnsley FC

Conor McCarthy playing for Cork City Pic: Doug Minihane.

BLARNEY native Conor McCarthy is aiming to get his new club Barnsley back into the Championship at the first time of asking. 

McCarthy recently joined the Yorkshire club from St Mirren having spent the last two-and-half years with the Scottish side. 

The former Cork City player, who had been in talks with his new club since May as well as Rotherham United and MK Dons, was delighted to finalise the agreement earlier this month.

“I was thrilled when it all got sorted. You only have to look around the club to see just how big it is," McCarthy said. 

"It did take awhile to get it sorted but that’s what happens. Both parties want to make sure that every box is tucked and both are happy because that has to be the case in order for the transfer to be a success.

“I’ve been speaking to the club for awhile now. It was all conducted over zoom calls. 

"There were other clubs interested but I felt Barnsley were the right club for me.

“I loved my time at St Mirren and I am very grateful to them for giving me my first opportunity in the UK but I just think this opportunity was something I needed to take.” 

Corkmen Jaze Kabia, Falkirk ,Rotherham and Ireland forward and former player Cork City player Chiedozie Ogbene and Conor McCarthy, former City player now at St Mirren watching against Wexford during the SSE Airtricity first division game at Turner's Cross Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Corkmen Jaze Kabia, Falkirk ,Rotherham and Ireland forward and former player Cork City player Chiedozie Ogbene and Conor McCarthy, former City player now at St Mirren watching against Wexford during the SSE Airtricity first division game at Turner's Cross Picture; Eddie O'Hare

The Tykes appointed former Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff just days before McCarthy’s arrival and the 24-year-old believes that with his new manager being a former defender himself will help McCarthy develop as a player.

“The lure of working with a manager who used to be a defender did add to my reasoning for joining. I am ambitious. 

"I want to be the best player I can be. I do think learning from someone that was a defender themselves will benefit me.

“Pre-season is always hard but I think this is one of the toughest I’ve done because of having a new manager at the club. 

"Players will always want to impress a new manager and I think that has raised the standards in training. 

"Lads are running that bit harder in the running drills.” 

Switching from the Scottish Premiership to League One could be seen as a step up by some and could provide McCarthy with a greater opportunity of earning a senior cap for the Republic of Ireland. 

However, although McCarthy has hopes of representing his country one day, he is focused solely on playing as many games for Barnsley as he can.

“My personal aim this year has to be to play as many games as possible. It is going to be a difficult division to gain promotion from. 

"You have teams like Derby (County), Sheffield Wednesday and Portsmouth who will all feel that they can get promoted. It’s going to be good to test myself in a different league.

St Mirren's Conor McCarthy who is set to miss the rest of 2021 after being told he could need ankle surgery. Issue date: Thursday November 25, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER St Mirren. Photo credit should read Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.
St Mirren's Conor McCarthy who is set to miss the rest of 2021 after being told he could need ankle surgery. Issue date: Thursday November 25, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER St Mirren. Photo credit should read Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

“In terms of gaining a call-up for Ireland; obviously that would be a dream come true but I am under no illusions. I know that would be very difficult. 

"The centre-backs currently in the squad are excellent. They are players playing in the Premier League or Championship.

“I would have to be playing exceptional and we would have to be challenging at the very top of the table this season I think for my name to even come up in the conversation of being in a squad. 

"But like I said; my focus is on playing for Barnsley and getting off to a good start."

Relocating can be the most difficult part for any player. McCarthy is currently living in a hotel but is hoping that this will be short term as the player is seeking suitable accommodation. 

One of McCarthy’s former City teammates Chiedozie Ogbene lives close to Barnsley and McCarthy is already planning on inviting his friend around for food when he does move into his new accommodation.

“I am currently being put up in a hotel by the club. Although I’m grateful to the club, being in a hotel is not ideal. 

"I am keen on finding my own place as soon as possible. The lads have helped me settle in. 

"They were very welcoming the first day I walked into the dressing room. A few of us have already been out playing golf and little things like that do make a difference when it comes to settling in quicker.

“Barnsley is quite central. There are a few former City teammates close by. 

"Chiedozie lives only around 20 minutes from here so when I have my own place sorted I’ll be inviting him around for dinner.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more