A phone call from new coach Robbie Fowler and a chance to return to his hometown was all Aiden O’Neill needed to join Brisbane Roar.
O’Neill became Roar’s eighth new recruit of the off-season after he signed a season-long loan from Premier League club Burnley.
“I’m really excited to get started in Brisbane. It’s a great opportunity to play under [Head Coach] Robbie [Fowler] who had such an immense career,” O’Neill told Roar's official website.
“He called me and told me about his plans for the club. It was something I was really excited to be involved in."
O’Neill has played in the Premier League with Burnley but spent much of the last couple of years away on loan, most recently with Central Coast Mariners last season.
An Australian U23 international, O’Neill was the Mariners’ most consistent performer in a tough 2018/19 season for the club.
O’Neill scored four goals in 23 appearances in the Hyundai A-League, taking out the Mariners’ Player of the Year award.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who was born in Queensland and went to Brisbane Boys College, is relishing the chance to play consistently in his hometown.
“Last season I got to play in front of my family which was a big part of the decision for me to come to Australia on loan,” O’Neill said.
“To be back in my home city and be able to play in front of my family and friends means a lot to me.
“I’m only relatively new to the Hyundai A-League, but it’s a league that’s improving very quickly and it would be awesome to be a part of bringing Brisbane back to the top.”
In other news, Roar also confirmed that the versatile Jacob Pepper had inked a new one-year deal with the club.
Pepper, 27, has made 52 appearances in Orange over the last three seasons, playing in both defence and midfield.