Aaron O'Connor loving life on Parade
STRIKER Aaron O’Connor today tells Newport County fans exactly what they want to hear, he’s happy at the club and has no plans to leave anytime soon.
The former Luton and Rushden striker is in the form of his life, the top scorer in the Conference ahead of FA Cup hero Matthew Barnes-Homer and former Everton forward Phil Jevons.
County’s midfielder Mike Flynn believes O’Connor is currently performing like a Championship striker – his goals at Lincoln on Saturday his 16th and 17th in the league – and unsurprisingly that has led to scouts checking in on his progress.
However, O’Connor is far from unsettled and insists he is more than happy where he is, allaying fears he’ll be the next terrace idol to leave Newport.
"There has been talk, I’m aware people are watching our games and I’m linked to other clubs, but it doesn’t affect me, I’m more than happy to stay," he said.
"If no approach is made I’ll happily sit down and talk about my future because my contract is up at the end of the season.
"I’m not a player who wants away, it’s hard as a player to find a club where you’re happy and want to get up in the morning and come to football.
"It’s a great bunch of lads here, there are hundreds of players who’d love to be in my position playing for a club and having a smile on your face.
"It’s not all about money, there are a lot of footballers being paid a lot but not playing or not happy and they’d know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and I’m aware of that.
"It’s hard to be happy in football, I trust the manager, I class some of the players as really good friends and I’m fully aware of everything I have and I appreciate it."
O’Connor is thrilled to have finally won the battle to play as County’s leading striker, having been out on the wing for large spells this season.
"I don’t mind playing on the wing, I’d much rather play there than not play," he said. "But I do want to be the main striker and I told the manager that.
"I said I know I don’t have the height but there are other aspects to playing the role and I’ve seen the comments he made (in the Argus) about that being where I’ll be staying and I was delighted."
O’Connor has already displayed a rapport this term with ex-teammates Danny Crow and Jefferson Louis and he’s thrilled to continue the Friends Reunited act with new signings Christian Jolley and Robbie Willmott.
Willmott and O’Connor played together at Luton and Jolley shone on a recent loan spell.
"They are both terrific players. I spoke to Christian Jolley throughout the whole time he had gone back to Wimbledon about what he was going to do and it was clear he wanted to come here.
"But it wasn’t black and white, it didn’t look to me like it would happen," he said.
"I was hoping for it but Robbie was different, it came completely out of the blue and I was thrilled.
"I never understood why he left Luton, he could’ve gone higher and ended up back at Cambridge.
"He’s easily one of the best players I’ve played with at this level, easily and he’s a great addition."