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DEVON DIARY: O'CONNOR EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE

18 July 2014

New boy thriving with The Saddlers...

SUMMER signing, James O’Connor, has been suitably impressed by the quality of training he has received since joining the club last month.

The 29 year-old saw his progress halted by injury last term, but is fully fit and raring to go for the new campaign.

“Training has been fantastic,” he said without hesitation. “There are a few tired legs out there, but you have to go through that to reach the levels required.

“This trip away has been just what we needed; the work has been tough at times, mentally as well as physically because there have been some long days, but there has been a good mix of fun and hard work.

“Every session has been positive, which bodes well because it’s important to keep things fresh and relevant.

“It’s all about embracing the challenge. For me personally the season ahead is about getting games under my belt and the work that I have been doing with Jon Whitney will certainly help me achieve that.

“I’m sure I will see the benefits of it in the weeks and months ahead. To be fair, I spoke to James Chambers about the club before signing and he said that this was the ideal place to come if I wanted to get fit and be at it straight away and I can see why.

“I just can’t wait to get started now; I’m giving my all in training and really want to push on with the matches now.”

During the Devon Tour, the former Derby County man experienced his first taste of surfing, which went down well.

“I was really nervous at first,” he admitted. “But it was a buzz and something that I actually enjoyed.

“It was noticeable that all the lads took part, as they did in all of the activities that took part on the day, and it was a real team effort with everyone giving it their best and some proving better than others!

“I felt that I did okay and would certainly do it again.

“Having just become a dad, being away from home has been difficult, but fatherhood has made me look at things in a different way and I will be doing all that I can to make my daughter proud of me.”

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