Eunan O'Kane

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Eunan O'Kane
Personal information
Full name Eunan Charles O'Kane[1]
Date of birth (1990-07-10) 10 July 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth Feeny, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Leeds United
Number 14
Youth career
2007–2009 Everton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Coleraine 13 (4)
2010–2012 Torquay United 106 (12)
2012–2016 Bournemouth 101 (2)
2016– Leeds United 29 (0)
National team
2005–2006 Northern Ireland U16 2 (0)
2006–2007 Northern Ireland U17 7 (0)
2008 Northern Ireland U19 7 (1)
2011 Northern Ireland U20 1 (0)
2008–2010 Northern Ireland U21 4 (1)
2012 Republic of Ireland U21 5 (0)
2016– Republic of Ireland 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:03, 26 August 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 09:35, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Eunan Charles O'Kane (born 10 July 1990) is an Irish professional footballer who plays for Leeds United in the Championship and the Republic of Ireland national team. He plays as a midfielder or attacking midfield playmaker.

He was named as a standby for Republic of Ireland's squad for Euro 2016 but wasn't included in the final 23 man squad for the tournament.[2]

Early life[edit]

O'Kane grew up in Feeny, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the eldest child of Charlie O'Kane and Lorraine O'Kane.[3] He has one younger sister, Cora. O'Kane played gaelic football in his youth for Banagher GAC while his father helped to coach the Derry GAA hurling minors to their last Ulster title success in 2001. O'Kane went to primary school in St. Canice's and received second-level education in St. Patrick's College, Maghera. He joined Maiden City Soccer Academy at the age of 10 and was being scouted by Manchester City among other clubs from the age of 12. O'Kane decided to give up gaelic football at the age of 16 to instead focus on his football career.

Career[edit]

O'Kane spent two years with Everton as a youth team player before joining Coleraine in September 2009.[4] At Coleraine, O'Kane scored on his professional league debut in a 3–2 loss against Glenavon and in his 10th appearance, O'Kane scored a double in a 3–0 win over Glenavon.

Torquay United[edit]

He extended his contract with the club in December[5] before spending time on trial with Torquay United at the turn of the year. It proved to be successful, and he subsequently signed a contract with the club until June 2010.[6] He made his debut for the club in a 1–1 draw against Chesterfield and scored his first goal in a 3–1 win over Darlington on 6 March 2010. In his second half of the season at Torquay, O'Kane made a good impression, resulting the club rewarding O'Kane and Chris Robertson a two-year deal.[7]

The following season, O'Kane continued to make an impression for the club as he scored six time and continued to set up goal 6 times this season against Crewe (scored again later on this season), Stockport County, Rotherham United, Hereford United and Northampton Town. O'Kane scored his first FA Cup goal in third round and the only goal in a 1–0 win over Carlisle United. Also in the season, Torquay reached 7th place, resulting to participate the Play-off to get promoted to League One. In the semi-final of the play-off, O'Kane scored the second goal in the goal with a 2–0 win over Shrewsbury Town which Torquay win in the second leg to progress to the final against Stevenage, who dominated against Accrington Stanley. But lost to Stevenage following the only goal in the game from John Mousinho, preventing Torquay to get promoted to League One and in the first half of the season, O'Kane signed a new contract extension, keeping him until 2014.[8] Through the season, O'Kane continued to make an impression for the club as he scored 5 (against Macclesfield Town, Wimbledon, twice against Plymouth Argyle and Aldershot Town) and continued to set up goal 9 times.

Towards the end of the season, he was among 3 Torquay player (Bobby Olejnik, Kevin Nicholson and Lee Mansell) named in the PFA Team of the Year of League Two and it was the first time he received an honour.[9] Once again, Torquay United reach 5th place, resulting to participate the play-offs and played their first game against Cheltenham Town but Torquay lost in both legs.

After the end of 2011–12 season, O'Kane was linked with Newly promoted League One side Swindon Town.[10] Crawley Town was interested signing him after the club made an offer for him about £175,000 and the offer was accepted by the club.[11] However, O'Kane rejected the move to Crawley Town after talks with negotiations had stalled.[12] After a move to Bournemouth, O'Kane made an explanation rejecting Crawley Town, claiming the move wasn't for him.[13]

Bournemouth[edit]

In mid-July, the club accepted a bid from an unknown club in the League One side,[14] which later turns out to be Bournemouth. The move was officially made on 26 July 2012.[13] O'Kane made his debut for the club in a 1–1 draw against Portsmouth on the opening game of the season. His first goal for the Cherries came in an FA Cup game against Carlisle United in a 3–1 win.[15] Twenty-eight days later, Kane scored his first league goal, in a 3–0 win over Crawley Town.[16] Then just a few days after scoring his first league goal, Kane scored again in an FA Cup game against Wigan, in a 1–1 draw, which results playing again.[17]

In a 3–1 loss against Walsall on 19 January 2013, O'Kane penalised for handball after picking the ball up because he thought a free-kick had been awarded, which led to a penalty and ended the club's 15-game unbeaten run in League One.[18] After the match, O'Kane made apology on his Twitter account, which Manager Eddie Howe has since forgiven him and commenting the incident, believing it's should not be a penalty; instead, a free-kick.[19] Though the incident, Walsall's assistant manager Richard O'Kelly believes that O'Kane should be short-listed for the FIFA fair play award. O'Kelly would also went on to praise O'Kane for his honesty and sportsmanship.[20] Later in the season, O'Kane would play an important role to help the club promoted to the Championship following a 3–1 win over Carlisle United on 20 April 2013, but finished second place following Doncaster Rovers 1–0 victory over promotion-chaser Brentford.[21]

On 11 March 2014, O'Kane signed a new three-and-a-half year deal with the Cherries.[22] He played 17 times in all competitions, scoring one goal during the 2014–15 season as Bournemouth won the Championship and earned promotion to the Premier League.[23] During the 2015–16 season O'Kane made 17 appearances in all competitions for Bouremouth with 13 coming in the Premier League and he helped keep Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Leeds United[edit]

On 31 August 2016, transfer deadline day, whilst away on Republic of Ireland duty for a friendly against Oman,[24] O'Kane signed for Championship side Leeds United for an undisclosed fee on a 2 year deal.[25] He was given squad number 14 for the 2016–17 season.

O'Kane made his debut for the club in a 2–1 win against Blackburn Rovers on 13 September 2016.[26] His impressive form upon arrival coincided with an upturn in Leeds' form with Leeds reaching 6th place by November 2016 and into the Championship Playoff positions and also the Quarter Finals of the EFL Cup.[27][28]

However on 29 November 2016, O'Kane played only 28 minutes of a 2–0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield after suffering a recurrence of a groin injury originally picked up on international duty with Republic of Ireland and had to be substituted for Kalvin Phillips.[29] After several weeks out injured, he made his first appearance after recovering from injury in Leeds' 3–2 defeat against Barnsley F.C. on 21 January 2017. However he struggled to regain his regular starting first team place once returning from injury under Garry Monk.[30]

After impressing during the 2017–18 pre season under new head coach Thomas Christiansen,[31] on 11 August 2017 O'Kane was rewarded with a new 4 year contract at the club.[32]

International career[edit]

After representing Northern Ireland at underage levels, O'Kane decided to switch allegiance to the Republic of Ireland in October 2011.[33]

O'Kane received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad in May 2012 for a European U21 Championship qualifier against Italy.[34] He was called up to the senior Republic of Ireland squad in August 2015 for the first time with manager Martin O'Neill including him in a 37-man preliminary squad to face Gibraltar and Georgia in Euro 2016 qualifiers.[35] He went on to make his first appearances for the senior team in March 2016 in a 1–0 as a substitute in the win over Switzerland, and then starting the following Tuesday in the match versus Slovakia where he impressed where he was neat and tidy in a very positive performance.[36]

Despite featuring 4 times during 2016 for Ireland, he missed out on selection for the final 23 Republic of Ireland for the Euro 2016 Squad after being named as a standby for Republic of Ireland for the tournament.[37]

On 31 August 2016, O'Kane returned to the Republic of Ireland squad in their first fixture since Euro 2016, for a friendly against Oman, where he was named as an unused substitute in a 4–0 victory in a match that turned out to be teammate Robbie Keane's final game for the national side.[38] On 28 March 2017, he came on as a 63rd minute substitute for Conor Hourihane in Ireland's 0–1 loss in a friendly against Iceland.[39]

Style of play[edit]

His performances made him a favourite with fans and managers alike, especially Martin Ling who commented that O'Kane was 'a player like himself' who 'never shies away from wanting the ball, even after he's made a mistake'.[40]

Personal life[edit]

After wanting to marry his fiancee Laura Lacole in a humanist ceremony, O'Kane was embroiled in a high profile court case to have a humanist Wedding Ceremony recognised as a legal marriage ceremony.[41]

On 20 June 2017, O'Kane and his fiancee Laura Lacole made history when they won their battle via the Court of Appeal in the Belfast High Court, Northern Ireland, the couple's ceremony on 22 June 2017 was the first legal humanist ceremony in Northern Ireland and the first in the United Kingdom outside Scotland.[42]

Honours[edit]

Bournemouth

Individual PFA Team of the Year 2011/12 League 2

Career statistics[edit]

As of 23 September 2017[43]
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Total Discipline
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals A yellow card A red card
2016–17 Leeds United Championship 9 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 0
2016–17 Championship 24 0 0 0 2 0 26 0 5 0
Leeds United Total 33 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 35 0 5 0
2015–16 Bournemouth Premier League 16 0 3 0 1 0 20 0 3 0
2014–15 Championship 11 0 2 0 4 1 17 1 1 0
2013–14 Championship 37 1 2 0 1 1 40 2 3 0
2012–13 League One 37 1 4 2 0 0 41 3 4 0
Bournemouth Total 101 2 11 2 6 2 0 0 118 6 11 0
2011–12 Torquay United League Two 45 5 2 0 1 0 3 0 51 5 10 0
2010–11 League Two 45 6 4 1 1 0 5 1 55 8 4 0
2009–10 League Two 16 1 0 0 0 0 16 1 1 0
Torquay United Total 106 12 6 1 2 0 8 1 122 14 15 0
Total 240 14 17 3 10 2 8 1 275 20 31 0


International[edit]

As of match played 1 June 2017.
International statistics
National team Year Apps Goals
Republic of Ireland 2016 5 0
2017 2 0
Total 7 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professional retain lists & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. May 2013. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dons star Jonny Hayes placed on standby for Republic of Ireland Euro 2016 squad". The Press And Journal. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Dream chaser O'Kane still proving doubters wrong". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "O'Kane Completes Coleraine Switch". BBC Sport. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Coleraine pair extend contracts". BBC Sport. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Torquay United complete the signing of Eunan O'Kane". BBC Sport. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "New deals for Gulls duo". Sky Sports. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "O'Kane signs new Torquay deal". Sky Sports. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "PFA Team of the Year: League Two". Team Talk. 22 April 2012. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Swindon bid for O'Kane". Sky Sports. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "O'Kane on Crawley's radar". Sky Sports. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Torquay United's Eunan O'Kane says Crawley Town move is off". This is South Devon. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Bournemouth sign Torquay United's Eunan O'Kane". The Guardian. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "O'Kane offer accepted". Sky Sports. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cherries: Howe's men in hat for third round". Bournemouth Echo. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Bournemouth 3–0 Crawley Town". BBC Sport. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cherries: Goal hero O'Kane plots an FA Cup shock". Bournemouth Echo. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Walsall 3–1 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Eunan O'Kane forgiven for 'phantom whistle' penalty gaffe". BBC Sport. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "O'Kelly: Cherries star O'Kane should be rewarded for fair play". Bournemouth Echo. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Cherries: O'Kane confident ahead of Championship challenge". Bournemouth Echo. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "O'Kane signs new AFC Bournemouth deal". AFC Bournemouth. 11 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Andy Martin. "Never been a day like it! Cherries achieve the impossible dream of Premier League football". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Republic of Ireland 4–0 Oman: Keane scores in farewell". BBC Sport. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  25. ^ "MIDFIELDER ARRIVES ON DEADLINE DAY". Leeds United. 31 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Leeds 2–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  27. ^ Hay, Phil (13 November 2016). "Leeds United hoping for positive news on influential O’Kane". YEP. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  28. ^ "Leeds United: Garry Monk pipped by Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez for manager of the month award". Yorkshire Evening Post. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  29. ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (29 November 2016). "Liverpool 2–0 Leeds United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  30. ^ "Barnsley 3 Leeds 2". Sky Sports. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  31. ^ "Leeds United: Eunan O’Kane relishing life under new coach Thomas Christians". YEP. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  32. ^ "EUNAN O’KANE EXTENDS STAY". Leeds United Official Site. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  33. ^ "Eunan O’Kane waiting on international clearance". greenscene.me/. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  34. ^ "Noel King names Ireland u21 squad to face Denmark and Italy". greenscene.me. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  35. ^ "O’Neill names provisional squad for Gibraltar & Georgia". FAI. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  36. ^ "Republic of Ireland 1–0 Switzerland". BBC Sport. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  37. ^ "Dons star Jonny Hayes placed on standby for Republic of Ireland Euro 2016 squad". The Press And Journal. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  38. ^ "Republic of Ireland 4–0 Oman: Keane scores in farewell". BBC Sport. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  39. ^ "Republic of Ireland 0–1 Iceland". BBC Sport. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  40. ^ "O'Kane progress delights Ling". Sky Sports. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  41. ^ "Footballer and model seek legal humanist wedding". The Guardian. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  42. ^ "Humanist midfielder Eunan O’Kane to wed fiancée Laura Lacole in landmark ceremony on Thursday". Derry Journalist. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  43. ^ "Statistics". Soccerbase. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 

External links[edit]