Gaffer pleased to add O'Brien to his sideMicky Mellon believes he has signed the next Shrewsbury Town fans’ favourite in Jim O’Brien.
The 28-year-old has joined on a two-year contract after leaving Coventry City at the end of last season.
O’Brien has made more than 200 appearances at Championship and League One level as well as spending time in the Scottish Premier League with Celtic and Motherwell.
And Mellon is delighted to be able to bring him to Greenhous Meadow.
“It is a really exciting signing and one we have pursued for quite some time,” he told ShrewsWeb.
“I know Jim from my Barnsley days and after that kept an eye on how he was doing at Coventry and Scunthorpe and he has continued that level of performance on from there and I believe he will be a real fans’ favourite and somebody who will do very well for us.
“He can play as a winger both sides, he can play off the front men and he can play attacking midfield so he can cover a number of options for us.
“His best position you would say is attacking either off a front man or as a winger. He is a good addition and comes and adds a lot to the group.
“He brings experience and that desire to win. Like we have always said, Jim is very comfortable at League One level. In fact I would say in the Championship at Barnsley he was very comfortable at that level as well so he is a really good addition to the group and I am pleased we have been able to get a player of that level into the building.”
O’Brien finished the season on loan at Scunthorpe United, but Mellon says he was a popular figure with the Coventry fans and family reasons may have played a part in him moving on.
However, the manager revealed that O’Brien and his family will move to Shropshire ahead of him joining up with the rest of the squad.
“If you listen to the people at Coventry he was a real fans’ favourite there,” Mellon said.
“I think there were circumstances with his young family still being in Barnsley and they couldn’t get down which obviously didn’t help the situation there but he is going to move to Shrewsbury and bring them with him so we are delighted to have a player of that class come and join us.
“I am sure the fans will be really excited when they seem him perform.
“He came down here last year with Scunthorpe and played very well I thought so I am really pleased to have him on board and I am really pleased the club have worked so hard with me to try to bring Jim in.”
O’Brien becomes the seventh new face to join Micky Mellon’s new look squad and the manager believes he is close to finishing his recruitment for the season ahead.
“I am very happy with the group we have now,” he said.
“I am always looking to try and improve it. There are still maybe one or two bits of business we would like to try and get done. We are getting close now to bringing the lads back in for pre-season but we will keep trying to work on that.
“We would say we are going to have to try and strengthen the defence. We are still speaking to the likes of Natty (Nathaniel Knight-Percival) and Weso (James Wesolowski) and we will get hold of Mark Halstead and see what the situation is with him but we are working very hard to improve the group all the time but we are certainly very pleased with how it is at the minute.
“The lads are back on Thursday so they will be getting ready for it. Their holiday is coming to an end and we will be getting back into getting them fitness levels up and we will get the group integrated and getting to know each other and looking forward to starting the season.”
The gaffer also said he was looking forward to catching up with Gary Hackett when he takes his side to Stourbridge for a pre-season friendly.
“I have been speaking to Gary Hackett who I know from my West Brom days and I know he has been at Shrewsbury and the date they offered for us to go down there and play just seemed to fit with what we wanted to do,” said Mellon.
“It will give us an opportunity to gauge who maybe needs a game on that evening and it will give the fans the chance to go for a trip locally and have a nice evening and go and watch the team perform down there.
“It ticked too many boxes for me not to try and get the game on and it will be nice to go and see Gary again and compete against a strong Stourbridge team.”
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