FORMER Hereford United goalkeeper Dan Connor can’t wait to get his hands on the FA Cup.
The 33-year-old has just secured a full-time coaching job with Championship outfit Wigan Athletic.
The popular Irishman started his new coaching job at the DW Stadium last Thursday.
“The last year may not have been as good as I would have liked but, in a way, it might have been a blessing in disguise,” said Connor.
“I am thrilled – it’s a fantastic job. It feels strange to say that I am working for the FA Cup holders.
“I had a phonecall out of the blue from the human resources department at Wigan Athletic asking me if I could come up to see them about an opportunity at the club.”
And, at end of the interview, Connor was offered the role of heading up the club's academy goalkeepers’ set-up from under-8 to under-21 level.
“I want to thank Westfields and Shrewsbury Town,” he said.
“Everybody at Westfields has been fantastic and I have enjoyed working with Sean Edwards and the lads. I really enjoyed my time at Westfields.
“I am now at the end of my Uefa A-license and it’s nice after a tough year.”
Connor was brought to Hereford United by Simon Davey but suffered a career-ending hip injury just months after arriving at United.
After his injury, Connor ran the club shop and later worked as United’s goalkeeping coach and a youth team coach before he was released last summer.
“My time at Hereford coincided with a lot of ups and downs for the club but I enjoyed it and met some lovely people,” Connor recalled.
“Having had five different bosses in two years, I gained a bit from all of them.
“From a goalkeeping coach’s point of view, it was a great experience.
“I also played in a couple of reserve games and joined in a bit of training, but my injury meant my fitness was only ever back to 75 per cent at best.
“I was part of United’s relegation from the League Two and I have seen, at first hard, what it does to a football club.
“You just hope that the youth set-up at Hereford United doesn’t fall foul.”
Westfields boss Sean Edwards thinks Connor will be a big hit at Wigan Athletic.
“Dan is a really top bloke and he did very well for us and his personality was infectious around the club,” said Edwards.
“He played in goal for our first-team a couple of times and his talking to the defenders was first class and he showed what a top goalkeeper he was.
“Dan is a smashing guy and will do an excellent job at Wigan.”
Connor, who has been coaching at Shrewsbury Town, says he and his family will remain in the area.
“My family is settled in Hereford and we will be staying here,” he said.