TOWN chief Paul Buckle’s inability to guarantee Aaron O’Connor a regular starting spot was behind his move to Conference rivals Newport County yesterday, writes Mark Wood.
O’Connor’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent so he could join the Exiles, while trialist striker Harry Crawford has also been released.
Speaking after last night’s goalless pre-season draw with Wycombe Wanderers, Buckle said: “I think it’s fair to say Aaron wants to play.
“He’s at the age now, I think he’s 28, where he wants to start week in, week out, and I couldn’t see him starting week in, week out for me.
“So I was honest with him. He’s a good lad and I wish him well.”
On Crawford, Buckle continued: “Harry’s a no, we’ve decided against that one.”
O’Connor joined the Hatters on a free transfer in the summer of 2011 following his departure from Rushden & Diamonds.
The striker impressed with his work rate and pace when given the chance, scoring nine goals in 39 appearances for Luton, but was never able to stamp his mark as a first-team regular.
The 28-year-old’s last appearance came as a substitute in May’s play-off final defeat to York.
He links up at Rodney Parade with fellow ex-Luton strikers Danny Crow and Ryan Charles.
Meanwhile, the Town chief is also closing in on the signing of ex-Luton stopper Dean Brill, who was on the bench last night as fit-again keeper Mark Tyler played the full 90 minutes.
Buckle said: “We are hopeful Brilly’s going to join us. I really like him a lot. He’s a great character, good leader, good voice and loves the football club so he ticks all the boxes and I’m hopeful we can get him in the door now.
“I think Gary Sweet’s going to have chat with Dean tomorrow.”
Injuries are also biting deep with Jon Shaw (calf), Danny Spiller (achilles), Garry Richards (ankle) and Alex Lacey (shoulder) all ruled out of last night’s game and Buckle refused to rule out any more transfer activity.
He added: “We have to see how the injuries are. We’ve got quite a few players out at the moment.
“The board have been more than fair and Gary and I will look at it and see where the squad is.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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