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O'Connor joins backroom staff

23 January 2015

O'Connor reunited with Pulis at The Hawthorns

NEWLY-APPOINTED joint-Assistant Head Coach Mark O’Connor is delighted to have today joined Albion and reunite with long-time associate Tony Pulis.

O’Connor, who arrives from a coaching role at Bristol City, first played alongside Pulis at Bournemouth in the late 1980s.

The pair duly went on to forge a strong coaching partnership and worked together at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Stoke.

O’Connor went on to become Under-21 coach at Ashton Gate in the summer of 2013 but has now answered Pulis’ call and returned to his side at The Hawthorns.

“Tony and I first played together at Bournemouth in the team that Harry Redknapp managed, in 1986/87 we won the league,” O’Connor said.

“He was then manager and signed me as a player at Bournemouth and also Gillingham, and we’ve obviously been in touch ever since.

“When he was manager at Portsmouth I was the youth-team coach there and then when he went to Plymouth I was his first-team coach and then on to Stoke.

“We’ve known each other a few years now so I know how he works and what he wants.”

O’Connor will in fact be working alongside no shortage of familiar faces at Albion in the shape of fellow Assistant Head Coach Dave Kemp as well as Gerry Francis, Terry Burton and Darren Moore.

“Dave was already at Portsmouth when I went there and Tony worked with him then, Dave has been with him ever since,” added O’Connor, who will be in the dugout for tomorrow's FA Cup tie at Birmingham.

“I was Gerry’s apprentice at QPR, I used to clean his boots. When Gerry went to Exeter he actually took me as a young player on loan. Gerry was player/manager at that time so I played with him.

“I’ve also come across Terry Burton a few times. Mooro was at Portsmouth when I was there and he played for Tony, so I know Darren.

“Paths cross quite a lot.”

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