Haringey Borough sign former Orient, Barnet and Arsenal defender

Haringey Borough FC have signed Joe O’Cearuill, a former Republic of Ireland international who has been on the books of Leyton Orient, Barnet and Arsenal.

The 25-year-old centre-back, who was born in Edmonton, played for Orient and Watford at youth level before signing a professional contract at Arsenal.

O’Cearuill played in the first ever match at the Emirates – Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial against Ajax in July 2006 – and was named on the bench for a League Cup tie against West Brom later that year.

The defender was loaned out to Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2007 and was then called up to Ireland’s squad for the end-of-season tour of America, making his senior debut as a substitute against Ecuador and then starting the following game against Bolivia.

He went on to play 15 times for Barnet and had a spell with St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin before returning to England to play for Harlow Town, Borehamwood, Forest Green Rovers, Bishops Stortford and then Tooting and Mitcham United in the Ryman Premier Division last season.

“I’m very pleased to have him here, he’s got good pedigree and he’ll be a major plus for us,” said Haringey manager Tom Loizou. “I just hope we can keep hold of him, which will be difficult for a player of his quality.

“He’s done the rounds but, like most of our players, Haringey Borough is very local to him. I think he’s happy to be here, and we need players like him if we’re going to move in the right direction. Hopefully it will benefit both him and us.”

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O’Cearuill made his debut for the Tottenham-based outfit on Tuesday night, starting in central midfield – but he suffered a defeat in his first outing as Borough lost 2-1 away at Harefield United.

Haringey had previously triumphed 2-1 at Hertford Town on Saturday, but they were unable to add to their points tally in midweek after conceding twice in two minutes before half-time.

Loizou withdrew his full-backs and brought on two forwards in Richard Worrell and Roland Namquita in the second period, switching to three at the back with O’Cearuill in the heart of the rearguard – and he was rewarded as Darrell Cox struck three minutes from time.

However, Borough were unable to find an equaliser in the dying moments and dropped to eighth place in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division after two wins, one draw and two defeats.