James O’Connor vows to overcome tough start at Kidderminster Harriers

Kidderminster Harriers assistant manager James O’Connor is determined to overcome the ‘difficult’ start to his role by helping to guide the club to promotion next season.

Kidderminster Harriers V Stafford Rangers match action
Kidderminster Harriers V Stafford Rangers match action

The former Walsall defender joined the National League North side as a player in 2017 and was caretaker manager for the remaining two games of the 2018/19 season.

After giving up his playing days at the end of 2019, O’Connor continued at Harriers in a coaching capacity before being awarded the assistant manager’s job in April this year, working under Russ Penn.

Now, as the pair prepare to take on the 2020/21 campaign, O’Connor insists promotion is in their sights, despite the challenges they are facing due to the coronavirus.

“We’re planning for next season and hopefully beyond now,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire but it’s been really good.

“I’ve had experience in a few different roles over the last 12, 18 months. This is my first full-time coaching role on a professional basis and so much has been going on, furloughing players, leagues not being finished – it’s been difficult.

“We’re doing everything we can to be in a position to hopefully gain promotion next season, this is another club that has great tradition and should definitely be higher than the league we’re in at the minute.

“We’ve had new owners come in around six months ago and they’ve been great, sorting a lot of things out with the football club.

“First of all, make sure it’s on a secure base to go forward, which is difficult for all non-league clubs at the moment.

“They’re doing everything they can and are doing a great job.

“There’s good communication across the board and when we get the green light to go again we’ll be in a position to do it.”

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