The Central Coast Mariners have secured the services of 20-year-old midfielder Aiden O’Neill who will join the Club on loan from English Premier League outfit, Burnley FC.
The Brisbane born midfielder has signed a season long loan agreement that will see him join Mike Mulvey’s Mariners until at least the end of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.
O’Neill has featured on three occasions in the English Premier League for Burnley plus one appearance in the FA Cup and a start in the League Cup after signing his maiden professional contract with ‘The Clarets’ in 2016.
“After I heard Mike Mulvey and Nick Montgomery were interested I just couldn’t wait to get it all done and get stuck into pre-season,” O’Neill told the club's official website.
“Obviously playing in the English Premier League is every boy’s dream but leading into it [my debut], I didn’t think about it too much to be honest. For my family and myself it was a very proud moment but that’s just the start and I’ve got my whole career ahead of me.
“I’m coming on loan and I want to earn experience. I want to be involved and help the team push forward, if that helps me when it comes to Burnley then great but at the end of the day I am here to help the Mariners win games.
“A long-term goal of mine is also to break into the Socceroos squad. Moving over here at a young age makes you grow up very quickly, you’re in a man’s world full of very good footballers and you either float or sink, so my time at Burnley so far has been fantastic,” O’Neill said.
O'Neill then spent the first half of the 2017/18 season on loan with Fleetwood Town where he made 27 appearances for the ‘Cod Army’, before returning to Burnley in January 2018.
Most recently, the box-to-box midfielder has featured in pre-season hit outs with Burnley against the likes of Cork City, Shrewsbury Town, Montpelier and Espanyol before departing to Australia.
O’Neill arrived in England as a 14-year-old where he was spotted in Manchester by a scout from Burnley. O’Neill then went on to sign with Burnley’s under 16’s academy side and has been based mostly in Lancashire ever since.
The Mariners’ newest recruit is looking forward to playing his part in the Central Coast Mariners’ season.
Mike Mulvey thanked Burnley FC for the opportunity to expose O’Neill to the Hyundai A-League and assist in his development as a young footballer.
“Aiden O’Neill is a very interesting player,” Mulvey said. “He didn’t play representative football in Brisbane, where he grew up, and was snapped up by Burnley FC after he had moved to England with his parents.
“Any player who trains regularly with an EPL club will have something about him and while Aiden is a young player he is a young player on a mission.
“I would like to thank Burnley Football Club and particularly the manager Sean Dyche for entrusting us with this next stage of Aiden’s development,” Mulvey said.