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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 18:07 GMT
Lokomotiv complete O'Connor deal
Garry O'Connor
Garry O'Connor underwent a gruelling medical
Scotland striker Garry O'Connor has completed the formalities of signing a five-year contract to seal a 1.6m move from Hibernian to Lokomotiv Moscow.

He becomes the first British player in the Russian premier league.

And agent Gary MacKay says the 22-year-old is looking forward to life under Serbian coach Slaboliub Muslin.

"We met the coach this morning and had a brief chat," MacKay told BBC Sport. "He obviously has years of experience in the game."

O'Connor, who passed a gruelling, two-day medical in Munich last week, made his debut on Tuesday evening when he played for the first half in his sides 3-0 pre-season friendly win over Spanish second division side Marbella.

"Garry will stay in Malaga as Lokomotiv have a few games to play," said MacKay.

"He will then look to return to Edinburgh before flying out to Moscow."
Hibs are happy, my agent's happy, my family's happy and I am chuffed to bitse
Garry O'Connor

The product of Hibs' youth system had two years of his contract at Easter Road to run but will now take a massive leap in earnings to about 16,000 per week.

O'Connor had scored 14 goals for Hibs this season, making him their second-top scorer behind Derek Riordan, despite knowing that his time with Hibs was nearing an end.

The Scotland international told BBC Sport: "It's been a difficult time as I've known since 4 February, but I think I've handled the pressure well.

"It's dragged on a bit and I've had a month to think about it, but everyone's happy. The club's happy, my agent's happy, my family's happy and I am chuffed to bits.

"It will be a great opportunity and I'm going there determined to grab it and help them win things.

"It's going to be a step up in my career and I'll maybe be playing Champions League football.

"Lokomotiv are a big club, but I can maybe use it as a platform for four years and win a move to an even bigger one."

O'Connor had parting words of praise for the Hibs manager and the club's support.

"Tony Mowbray has been brilliant since he arrived and has helped me progress as a footballer and as a person," he said.

"The supporters have been brilliant with me right to the end and I wish the club all he best.

"They will always be in my heart and hopefully they can go on and win the Scottish Cup."

Hibs face Hearts in the semi-final and are vying with their Edinburgh rivals, Rangers and Kilmarnock for Champions League and Uefa Cup places in the Scottish Premier League.

But Mowbray said he could not stand in the way of a financially "life-changing" move for O'Connor and his family.

The manager hoped to use the money to make signings in the summer and help build a long-awaited new training facility.

O'Connor is one of several foreign players to join Lokomotiv for the start of the Russian league season on 18 March.

They also signed three defenders - Croatian Emir Spahic, Slovakian Marian Had and Serbian Branislav Ivanovic - Ghana midfielder Larry Kingston, Brazilian winger Selsinho and Mali striker Draman Traore.

O'Connor's good move - Cesnauskis
04 Mar 06 |  Hibernian
O'Connor not first Scot in Moscow
01 Mar 06 |  Football


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