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O'Kane glad to stay with Torquay after Crawley talks

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 02, 2012

Torquay midfielder Eunan O'Kane has rejected a switch to Crawley Town   PICTURE: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

Torquay midfielder Eunan O'Kane has rejected a switch to Crawley Town PICTURE: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

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Torquay United midfielder Eunan O'Kane has insisted he is not planning to speak to any other clubs after turning down a £175,000 move to Crawley Town.

O'Kane, 21, rejected a switch from Plainmoor to the Broadfield Stadium outfit after failing to agree personal terms, and he has said: "I'm just looking forward to getting back to Torquay now.

"There are no other offers for me to consider or turn down. Things are fine at Torquay, and I'm perfectly happy there."

O'Kane revealed that Crawley, who clinched automatic promotion to npower League One on the final day of last season as the Gulls missed out, had made him two offers. "From the start, it was a case of Crawley offering the fee that was in my contract. I had the right to speak to them and, out of courtesy to them, I felt I should," he said.

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"Crawley did everything by the book, as far as I know, both with Torquay and me. I met with their manager, Sean O'Driscoll, and Steve Coppell [director of football]. They told me their vision of where they want the club to go, which is where I want to be as well.

"They made all the right noises, and, when I left Crawley after speaking to them, it was a possible option from what they had said to me.

"I think some people thought I had already gone at that stage. But things need to be agreed on personal terms.

"They made an offer and we said 'no', and they did make an improvement, a final offer. But in the end it wasn't for me. It wasn't a very hard decision for me."

Torquay chairman Simon Baker said: "We have no other offers on the table for Eunan, and I'm thrilled he has made this decision. I'm sure everyone else in the club, and our supporters, feel the same."

O'Kane, who has two more years to run on his United contract, revealed that manager Martin Ling has given him a few extra days off before he starts pre-season training, because he headed off straight after the club's play-off semi-final defeat to Cheltenham Town in May to play his first two games for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side.

The Gulls' senior players, including this week's signings Craig Easton, Tom Cruise and goalkeeper Michael Poke, will report back on July 12, and O'Kane will join them three days later.

With around £380,000 already generated from this summer's sales of Bobby Olejnik to Peterborough United and Mark Ellis to Crewe Alexandra, Ling will not be dismayed by the failure of the O'Kane-Crawley deal. Far from it – it helps in his drive to strengthen both the quality and depth of his squad.

In the build-up to the signing of Easton, Ling stressed that he wanted the experienced Scottish midfielder on board whether O'Kane left or stayed. And, earlier this week, before the latest O'Kane decision, the Gulls' boss was in a position to repeat his January bid of £40,000 for young Swindon Town forward Billy Bodin.

Swindon have turned down that approach, with the Robins' chairman Jeremy Wray describing the offer as "insufficient". Cue a short stand-off period, while both clubs consider their positions.

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  • explorica  |  July 02 2012, 7:12PM

    Great news. We certainly would not be the same threat on the counter-attack without Eunan's pace. Now we just need to clinch Bill Bodin and get Rene fit and we'd be an improved attacking threat to last year and we've still got a decent goalie.

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  • explorica  |  July 02 2012, 7:09PM

    Great news. We certainly would not be the same threat on the counter-attack without Eunan's pace. Now we just need to clinch Bill Bodin and get Rene fit and we'd be an improved attacking threat to last year and we've still got a decent goalie.

    Rate   3
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