Young United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara.

What's next for United keeper O'Hara?

Wednesday 06 June 2018 12:00

Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara will wait to see what plans are in the pipeline for him when he returns for pre-season work at the Aon Training Complex.

The Under-23s' no.1 was shortlisted for the Denzil Haroun Player of the Year trophy and received a first senior call-up for Republic of Ireland, even if it was a difficult campaign as a whole for the Reserves.

With a number of keepers on the books of the club, any plans will be finalised in due course,  with O'Hara admitting he feels ready to tackle league football on a regular basis. The 22-year-old has had previous temporary moves away from United, including two spells at Morecambe, where he made his senior bow in 2016. 

Kieran O'Hara says

"Next season, I think I'll be ready to go out on loan to gain valuable experience in the league and really kick on."

"Hopefully, I will go out on loan to gain some valuable experience that way," O'Hara told "Clearly, it's down to the coaching staff and the [Under-23s] manager. Ricky [Sbragia], Nicky Butt and, obviously, the manager will decide what they think is best for me and my development.

"But, like I say, next season, I think I'll be ready to go out on loan to gain valuable experience in the league and really kick on.

Kieran has made great strides with Republic of Ireland after opting to represent them.

"A loan wouldn't be anything new to me. I've had loan spells before and they really helped me and pushed me to where I am now. Hopefully, it will improve my experience even more and I can learn more game management and things like that.

"I feel it's definitely about getting that experience of playing in the league, week in and week out, in front of fans in stadiums and really pushing towards the point of playing in competitive divisions and gaining experience from all different things that maybe you don't get in the Under-23s.

"Alternatively, I have travelled with the first team and I have to thank the manager [Jose] and his staff for that. That’s a tremendous learning curve for me as you see how they conduct themselves on such a huge platform in front of millions of people with everybody watching your every step. These are the things that every young player dreams about but, as I have already said, I will leave everything for the coaches and staff to decide.”

The progress with Republic of Ireland, under Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane, is a source of great satisfaction for the Manchester-born keeper, who qualifies for the country through his father.

"It was definitely an honour to get a senior call-up and it feels good that my performances for the Reserves have been recognised by the international management," he explained. "I feel it was a massive part of my season to get that call-up and I'm obviously very proud.

"They were really nice guys and Colin Doyle, who is at Bradford City, is quite a bit older than me so he has a lot of experience of the league and international level. He has a few call-ups on his CV, so he helped me quite a lot."

Watch Kieran O'Hara's Save of the Season against Leicester City.

Overall, O'Hara is philosophical after a hard year in Premier League 2 and is looking forward to taking the next step in his career.

"I feel it's been a disappointing season, overall, and I guess there are some games where the boys have under-performed, don't get me wrong, but some positives have come out of it," he added. "I feel, in the Reserves squad, a lot of players have developed and pushed themselves to the next level and, a lot of the time, the league is development football.

"Obviously, at Manchester United, we always want to win games, it's in our DNA, but I feel like the development of individuals is more important.

"Personally, I think I can be very proud of what I've achieved over the season. I feel like it has been a tough season as a team but individuals have come through and developed, I'm one of those, and the international call-up was a massive string to my bow if you like, so I feel very happy with how it has gone."