Sammon with the Republic of Ireland in 2013
|Full name||Conor Sammon|
|Date of birth||6 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Heart of Midlothian|
|2014–2015||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||19||(1)|
|2015||→ Rotherham United (loan)||15||(3)|
|2015–2016||→ Sheffield United (loan)||27||(5)|
|2016–||Heart of Midlothian||0||(0)|
|2007||Republic of Ireland U21||3||(0)|
|2007||Republic of Ireland U23||1||(0)|
|2013||Republic of Ireland||9||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:10, 14 June 2016 (UTC).
Sammon started his professional career in the League of Ireland Premier Division with University College Dublin and Derry City. In 2008 he moved to Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock, and in January 2011, English Premier League side Wigan Athletic signed him for £600,000. In August 2012, he moved to Derby County for £1.2 million. During his time there, he also had loans to Ipswich Town, Rotherham United and Sheffield United, before returning to Scotland by signing for Heart of Midlothian in June 2016.
UCD and Derry
Sammon scored a hat trick in the Harding Cup final in February 2005. On 8 April 2005 he made his League of Ireland debut as a substitute at Turners Cross. His first league goal came exactly one year later when he netted a brace against Bray Wanderers at Belfield Park.
His single goal knocked Derry City out of the 2007 FAI Cup with a deft near post finish at the Brandywell. Sammon was nominated for 2007 PFAI Young Player of the Year, he lost out to Mark Quigley of St Patrick's Athletic.
After a short trial, Sammon signed a three-year deal with Kilmarnock in July 2008 for an undisclosed fee, and made his debut on 9 August 2008 in a 1–0 win against Hibernian. He scored his first goals for the club on 24 September 2008, scoring a brace in a 4–2 Scottish League Cup win against Aberdeen. Sammon struggled in his first two seasons at the club, scoring just seven times in all competitions. In the 2010–11 season, his record was more prolific, scoring 18 goals in 27 games. In January 2011, Sammon turned down a move to Championship club Scunthorpe United after Kilmarnock had accepted a bid of around £450,000 for him. Derby County were also interested in the player.
On 31 January 2011, Sammon signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Premier League club Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee, believed to be worth an initial £600,000, after he turned down a move from Derby County. He made his debut on 5 March in a 1–0 defeat against Manchester City. He scored his first goal for the club in his sixth game – the second in a 3–2 win against West Ham United on 15 May. His first start for the club came in the following game, a 1–0 win at Stoke City on 22 May 2011, a result which ensured Wigan's Premier League status.
In the 2011–12 season, Sammon started nine games and came on as a substitute eighteen times but he failed to score a single goal. On 26 December 2011, in a game at Manchester United Sammon was sent off for catching the face of Michael Carrick with his elbow, a decision which was judged as "harsh" by the BBC. Wigan appealed the decision, with manager Roberto Martínez saying, "Conor did nothing wrong. You need to accept punishment when you do something wrong but this is a normal phase of play." The appeal was successful and the card was rescinded.
In July 2012, Sammon was again linked with a move to Derby County. A fee of £1.2 million was reported to be agreed by both clubs on 12 August 2012. After leaving, Sammon said of his time at Wigan: "I learned a lot from my time in the Premier League. I've got a lot of time for Roberto Martínez and the staff there. They looked after me well and gave me a great opportunity. I look back on my time there with good memories but also some frustration from not playing as much as I would have liked. Ultimately, I've had a great experience in the Premier League. I've taken lots of positives from my time there and I'm looking to use all of those during my time here at Derby."
On 20 August 2012, Sammon joined Derby County on a four-year contract. Derby manager Nigel Clough said of Sammon, "He is going to be a key player for us and when he plays regularly, we know he can score goals. We really like how hard he works too and that means he will fit into our squad comfortably." Sammon made his Derby debut in a 2–0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on 21 August and scored his first goal for the club in a 5–1 win against Watford on 1 September. After only scoring twice in his opening sixteen games for the club, Sammon was criticised by fans for a lack of goals, however Clough said he was happy with Sammon, stating the his work-rate was keeping him the starting line-up ahead of Nathan Tyson who had a better strike rate. His style of play meant that he frequently held up the ball and provided and assists for teammates. Clough particularly praised his "absolutely superb" performance in the 2–1 win against Ipswich Town on 23 October, where he provided assists for Theo Robinson and Tyson.
Sammon ended his drought with a brace in a 3–2 win against Birmingham City on 24 November and put his improvement of form down to his regaining confidence. Eary in the new year, he went on a ten-game goal drought and fans became frustrated with his performances after missing an 87th-minute penalty in Derby's 1–0 home loss to Crystal Palace on 1 March. In the next game however he scored his eighth goal of the season in a 1–1 draw at league leaders Cardiff City, and expressed frustration at his lack of goals but belief in his ability to score more despite the negative chants from the crowd. In Derby's game at Leeds United on 1 April, Sammon had a goal ruled out for offside at 0–0 and missed a penalty on 73 minutes with Derby losing 1–0. He struck the post before Paul Coutts scored on the rebound, Derby eventually winning 2–1. He ended an eleven-match goalless streak (9 for Derby, 2 for Ireland) with an 85th-minute winner against Millwall on the final day of the season. It was only Sammon's third league goal of 2013. However, despite the criticism from supporters, Sammon was named the 61st best player in the 2012–13 Football League Championship by the Actim Index.
2013–14 season and loans
Ahead of the 2013–14 season, Derby signed Chris Martin on a permanent deal after a loan, as well as adding Johnny Russell to the squad. These additions saw Sammon slip down the pecking order and he was restricted to appearances from the substitute appearances in the opening stages of the season, though he did start three League Cup ties, scoring twice in a 5–0 win over Brentford on 27 August. Following the sacking of Clough, Sammon was awarded his first league start of the season against Ipswich, though he was withdrawn at half-time with Derby 4–1 down in a match they eventually drew 4–4. New manager Steve McClaren quickly signed Tottenham Hotspur's Simon Dawkins on loan, meaning Sammon returned to substitute appearances. Between 5 October and the end of the calendar year, Sammon appeared as a second-half substitute eleven times scoring two late winners, in a 3–2 victory at Watford and a 2–1 victory against Middlesbrough on 4 December, and continued in such a role as the team reached the play-offs.
Sammon joined fellow Championship team Ipswich Town on a season-long loan on 15 August 2014, managed by former Ireland national manager Mick McCarthy. He made his debut the following day, replacing David McGoldrick for the final 20 minutes of a 1–0 loss away to Reading. Sammon scored only once in 20 games for the Suffolk-based team, the crucial one in a 2–1 win over former team Wigan on 22 September, after earlier missing an opportunity when set up by McGoldrick.
On 15 January 2015, Sammon's loan at Portman Road was permitted to end by McCarthy, and he moved to another team in the same division, Rotherham United, until the end of the season. Two days later, he made his debut for the Millers, playing the entirety of a 0–2 home loss to high-flying Bournemouth. On 27 January, he scored his first goal in a 4–2 home win over struggling Bolton Wanderers, from close range after Andy Lonergan saved from Matt Derbyshire. He finished his spell at the New York Stadium with 3 goals from 15 appearances.
On 25 July 2015, Sammon joined League One club Sheffield United on loan for the whole season. He scored his first goals in a 3–1 win at Peterborough United on 18 August, and totalled 6 goals from 33 games, being in and out of a team also featuring Billy Sharp, Che Adams and Jose Baxter up front.
Heart of Midlothian
He made his debut on 14 July in the first leg of the second qualifying round of the season's UEFA Europa League, away to Birkirkara in Malta. He started the match and had a goal disallowed for offside before being substituted for Juanma. A week later, he scored his first goal for the team, heading Arnaud Djoum's cross as they were eliminated in a 2–1 second-leg lost at Tynecastle.
Sammon earned his first call up to the Republic of Ireland under-21s in a qualifying match for the 2009 European Under-21 Championship against Portugal under-21s on 7 September 2007. He played for the under-21s on two more occasions and also represented the under-23s in a match against Slovakia.
In January 2013, Sammon was called up to the senior squad for the first time to play in a friendly against Poland on 6 February. A day ahead of the match, Irish coach Giovanni Trapattoni named Sammon in the starting eleven and he played the full 90 minutes in a 2–0 win for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, which Sammon described as "a very proud moment".
On 22 March 2013, he made his competitive debut in a 0–0 draw away to Sweden in a World Cup qualifier, coming on as a substitute after 87 minutes. He made his first competitive start in the following game on 26 March, playing the full 90 minutes in Ireland's 2–2 draw at home to Austria and playing a part in winning the penalty and corner kick for both of Jonathan Walters goals.
Ahead of Ireland's friendly with Spain on 12 June 2013, Trapattoni suggested that Sammon and his Derby team-mate Jeff Hendrick should be playing in the Premier League: "they play Championship, and I have to ask why when I see the games in the Premier League and the way they play with us. Quality is quality." Derby manager Nigel Clough was annoyed by his comments, saying that: "We don't really think it is his place to be commenting on things like that... We can take it as a backhanded compliment, in some ways."
|This section is outdated. (January 2015)|
- As of 11 May 2014
|Club||Season||League[A]||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[B]||Total|
- As of 10 September 2013.
|Republic of Ireland national team|
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- U21 Men Season 2007–2008 Squad Profile 14 September 2007
- "Former Kilmarnock striker Conor Sammon wins first Ireland call-up". Scottish Daily Record. 21 January 2013.
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