Ahead of Saturday’s game against Welling United, we sat down with our winger Keelan O’Connell, who told us what impresses him about the club, the best player he’s played against, and The Terras’ chances this weekend.
Keelan, you’ve been at Weymouth since last year. Do you feel the club has improved since you’ve joined?
Overall, we’re starting to see progression from when I first came. There were quite a few problems when I joined, but I feel like we’re getting to a place where everyone is happy.
What impressed you most about the club before signing?
In my opinion we have one of the best grounds in the league. That was quite a good selling point for me when I came here. I liked what I saw.
What about this club has stood out from the other ones you’ve played for?
It’s how everyone gets on. It’s like a little family where we’re all there for each other. To be honest, you don’t get that very much in other places.
With the players and management staff, it’s very tight knit which is important going forward.
What do you offer as a player that makes you unique?
I like to start off attacks and create as many opportunities as I can, and get the fans off their seats. Whether that be a pass, a dribble or a cross, I like fans to enjoy watching what they see.
For players in your position, what qualities do you need to have to make the difference in the game?
The big thing is to always want the ball. Never be afraid to receive it, even in tight spaces. Just have confidence whenever you get the ball, and don’t be afraid to try things.
I want to take you back to where you started. What were your memories of football growing up?
It was through my Dad. I’m from Portsmouth so we would go to watch them, although I’d go up to see Chelsea too. Going to games and watching them live was what really got me into football.
Eden Hazard was my favourite player growing up. If there’s one player I’ve taken the most from, I’d like to say it’s him.
Who was the best player you’ve played against in your career?
James Maddison when he was at Coventry in the FA Youth Cup. He ran the show. He scored a hat-trick and won the game for them. That’s probably the best performance I’ve seen against me!
For him to play like he did it’s not a surprise [to see him in the Premier League].
You’re facing Dover in just under 2 weeks, which is our third match there in six months. As a player, how do you prepare and focus for such a long away trip on the coach?
There’s probably other games we would have preferred! But, that’s under the carpet now. We’re lucky enough that the last two times we’ve gone there, we’ve got good results.
Everyone is just keeping a positive mindset. We know who we’re up against.
Any personal memories there for you with the great escape?
It’s become a happy place for us as a club now after what happened! Every time we go there, we go with a smile on our face. We will just try to enjoy the moment and play as well as we can.
Wrapping up, how confident are the boys going into this Saturday’s game?
Obviously we want to get a win at home. We feel disappointed with how [last] Saturday went, and as a team we could have played better.
But, at the moment we’re all in a confident place, as we know what we can do, so three points is what we’re after!