Conor: I will always be one of Cod Army
Conor McLaughlin has completed his move to Championship club Millwall but says Fleetwood will always have a place in his heart.
The full-back, 25, posted a heartfelt goodbye message to the Cod Army and all involved at the club after ending his five-year spell at Town.
The EFL’s right-back of the season had a fresh contract offer withdrawn in June after he told the club he wanted to make the step up to the second tier of English football.
Town head coach Uwe Rosler said at the time that the Northern Ireland international deserved the opportunity to play in the Championship.
McLaughlin moved from Championship side Preston to then League Two Town in 2012. And after 200-plus appearances and a League Two play-off final winners’ medal to his name, McLaughlin leaves the club in high esteem. He thanked chairman Andy Pilley for giving him the chance to develop and says he hopes to return to cheer on the boys at Highbury. He also wished Rosler’s side all the success next season.
McLaughlin wrote on Twitter: “I’d just like to thank everyone at FTFC for an unbelievable five years.
“I have met some amazing people that make FTFC the family club it is, from the chairman Andy Pilley for giving me the chance to develop my career down to the football staff, the fans and the volunteers at the club – thank you for making me feel welcome from day one.
“I have made some amazing memories. Winning the League Two play-off final at Wembley and making 200 appearances for the club are just some which will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“To Uwe, Rob Kelly (assistant head coach), Barry Nicholson (first team coach), Youl Mawene (head of sports science), Luke Bussey (physio) and my team-mates, I wish you all the very best for next season and building on what was a brilliant one.
“It was a pleasure to work with all of you and I will still be watching out for FTFC’s results and hopefully get to a game whenever I can.”
McLaughlin joined Millwall on Wednesdsay after returning from his honeymoon in the USA.
It is set to be a big season for the full-back as he bids to keep his spot in Northern Ireland’s starting line-up as they aim to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
McLaughlin added: “I first heard of Millwall’s interest towards the back end of last season, but I then went away on holiday and got married, so it took a bit of time. I’m glad it’s all sorted now.
“I’m really looking forward to getting going. I just want to start and get to know my team-mates.”